Volvo Partners with Epic Games for Integrated EV Tech

Volvo Cars and Epic Games bring real-time photorealistic visualisation inside next-generation Volvo cars with Unreal Engine

Automaker Volvo is partnering with a games company to use a popular video game engine for electric vehicles (EVs), as announced by the automaker on Wednesday.

Volvo plans to partner with Epic Games on advanced EV hardware, according to an announcement made by both companies on Thursday. Epic Games is the developer behind the wildly popular game, Fortnite.

The collaboration will use Unreal Engine to provide “state of the art graphics” and benefits such as multi-user scalability, increased speeds, and two-way data communication, among others.

Volvo Cars is the first European automaker to use the Unreal Engine for developing a Human Machine Interface (HMI) and Driver Information Module (DIM).

“When you bring interactive, high-resolution graphics running in real-time into the car, you open the door to a vast range of new ways to inform and entertain everyone inside,” said Heiko Wenczel, Epic Games’ Director of Automotive and HMI for Unreal Engine, in a statement.

“Volvo Cars’ deeply talented design and product development teams have grasped this opportunity to do something fresh that will keep evolving with exciting new features that take advantage of the capabilities of Unreal Engine,” added Wenczel.

“To offer our customers the best possible user experience and contribute to a safe and personal drive, we need rich, immersive and responsive visualisation inside our cars,” said Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars, in a statement. “Running Unreal Engine in our cars enables this and makes it even more enjoyable to spend time inside a Volvo.”

Unreal Engine, the visual engine used to power games like Fortnite, has been a subject of interest from other companies for several years, although this represents the first time Epic Games has worked with a European vehicle manufacturer.

Volvo is also investing in other areas of the EV movement, including a recent investment into Israel-based fast-charging battery tech firm StoreDot and a new EV crossover plant in South Carolina.

The automaker says the first car to have the new graphics will be an all-electric flagship model coming later in 2022.