Two pieces of news from the last week; that GM would use Unreal Engine to design the interface in the GMC HUMMER EV and brand new photography showing the inside of the 2022 Chevy Silverado are both pointing in the same direction. The technology that brings beautiful virtual sets to the Disney+ Show The Mandalorian might be coming to your new Silverado in the very near future.
Maybe you’ve watched The Mandalorian, maybe you have not. Either way, I bet you have seen photos and or clips from the show. Beautiful alien landscapes, other wordly settings and intricate interior design have been a hallmark of the show since day one. Oh, and Baby Yoda. Can’t forget him / her!
But how The Mandalorian creates these amazing sets just might blow your mind. Every location in the Mandalorian is almost entirely virtual. Created in a studio where the walls are LED screens. As the camera moves through a shot, perspectives change for the camera’s point of view. The end product is a scene where the lines separating reality and virtual reality.. are almost totally blurred. This was all possible because of Unreal Engine.
Watch this video explaining how Unreal Engine is used in Disney’s The Mandalorian
Amazing, right? So, what does this have to do with the 2022 Chevy Silverado? Well, we’ve just learned that the GMC HUMMER EV will use Unreal Engine as the basis of its vehicle-human interface.
While it’s easy to dismiss this as “GM uses video games in cars”, the truth of the matter is that this integration is far more exciting. Just look at what Disney has done with Unreal to create a TV show.
What can General Motors use Unreal Engine for in a car? Let’s speculate:
- Gridded or button focused interfaces give way to freestyle design and multi-dimensional layouts
- Information and backgrounds could change or react in real time to weather, road conditions or anything…
- Camera views from outside of the vehicle can be recreated inside in real time
- The system can be updated, upgraded, and refreshed remotely
- Real time, lag-less interfacing
Unreal Engine + Chevy Silverado
Now that we’ve seen that Unreal Engine is capable of doing some amazing things and we know that GM fully intends to run its future vehicle-human-interfaces on Unreal Engine… feast your eyes on this photograph. This is a prototype 2022 Chevy Silverado. This is our first look inside, courtesy of GM-Trucks.com‘s amazing Spy Photographer. What do we see? A large infotainment screen and a digital gauge cluster.
The design of the infotainment system is unlike anything GM currently produces and points towards big changes headed to the Silverado’s interior for 2022. Is this an Unreal powered interface? We can’t see enough to be sure. We do know the design shares nothing with Chevy’s current infotainment systems.
Cadillac Escalade Has An Advanced Infotainment System
…but Cadillac hasn’t mentioned Unreal Engine yet.. so we don’t think it’s something GM is using already. The hardware looks ready to go, however. Just feast your eyes on what the Escalade’s interface looks like in 2021:
So what do we really know?
To be honest… nothing definitive. But we can speculate. If the the GMC HUMMER EV is on the way with an Unreal Engine based human interface, Cadillac is using hardware that would perfectly complement such a system, and GM’s best selling vehicle is getting a huge interior makeover in just over a year with photos that show a massive new infotainment screen… you can connect the dots. We’d bet a healthy $10 that we’ll see an Unreal Engine designed interface in the next Chevy Silverado. It might not be as flashy as the HUMMER EV’s implementation… but it will most likely be there.
I’ll leave you with this. A tease video from GMC HUMMER last month showing us “Crab Mode and how it is activated on the HUMMER EV’s interface screen. This is our first true look at Unreal Engine in action.