[CES 2022] Hyundai Motor works with Unity to build digital-twin of factory supported by metaverse platform

By Lim Chang-won Posted : January 7, 2022, 09:00 Updated : January 7, 2022, 09:02

[Courtesy of Hyundai Motor]

LAS VEGAS -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group will build the digital-twin of an actual factory supported by a metaverse platform through a partnership with Unity, a real-time 3D content development platform. The partnership is aimed at realizing the group's vision of becoming the first mobility innovator to build a meta-factory concept.

Using digital twin, a virtual clone of an object or an infrastructure, the so-called meta factory will allow the auto group to test-run a factory virtually and calculate optimized plant operations. Plant managers can solve problems without physical visits. 
The Hyundai Motor Group said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Unity in an online ceremony at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. The two companies would jointly design and build a new metaverse roadmap and platform, with their partnership covering the fields of smart manufacturing, AI training and study as well as autonomous driving simulation.

The auto group said the partnership would realize its vision of becoming the first mobility innovator to build a meta-factory concept. The goal is to build a real-time 3D and virtual platform that will provide more comprehensive services across sales, marketing and customer experience through. Hyundai consumers can trial, test and engage various auto-related solutions digitally.

 The meta-factory concept will be applied first to an innovation center called HMGICS, which is under construction in Singapore to conduct studies on future mobility and explore innovative solutions, services and disruptive technologies. At HMGICS, Hyundai and Unity will accelerate innovation in intelligent manufacturing, integrating AI, 5G and other advanced technologies into a next-generation smart factory platform. 

"HMGICS will become a manufacturing innovation 'game changer' through this world-class meta-factory collaboration," Hyundai's chief innovation officer Chi Young-cho said in a statement. "HMGICS will lead the future innovation by introducing various technologies that will transform mobility paradigm through human-centered value chain innovation."

Hyundai and Unity will seek ways to realize breakthrough innovations in metaverse-based digital twin factories and collaborate in AI training and study as well as autonomous driving simulation. Hyundai said it would pursue active partnership opportunities with other partners such as Microsoft to accelerate the advancement of smart factories. 
As a strategic partner, Unity will support its vision of becoming the leader in future mobility solutions. "Real-time digital twins will permanently change how we live, work, shop and make a positive impact on our planet, representing a significant component of what is often referred to as the metaverse," Unity CEO John Riccitielloy was quoted as saying. 

Hyundai's center in Singapore would feature a landing port for urban air mobility and use eco-friendly energy sources like solar and hydrogen to help achieve carbon neutrality. Logistics and assembly lines will be highly automated. Singaporean universities, startups and research institutes can collaborate through the center's open innovation lab.

 The HMGICS meta factory studies and demonstrates the overall value chain of the automobile life cycle, including vehicle orders, production, and delivery. Hyundai said it would use metaverse technology to discover tasks that can be improved at manufacturing sites, while Unity is in charge of designing the meta factory, providing real-time image rendering technology, and supporting customized system development. 
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