Nissan has unveiled a new state-of-the-art design presentation hall at its design and engineering campus in Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The new facility is aimed at supporting further digitalisation of the design process, enhancing design quality and the ability to compare designs in the hope of creating products that closely match customer needs.
The facility uses an ultra-wide 24 K curved screen, full-colour ceiling screen, remote lighting and 7.1-channel sound to create an immersive experience that more realistically replicates real-world customer use.
Conventionally, vehicle designs are checked and approved using physical models, but this can result in long production periods, significant costs and limitations in model variations. More than five years ago, the Nissan design organisation began to digitally transform this process, through use of VR, for example.
The new facility uses a gaming engine to create projection content, reproducing in real time a variety of environments with a sense of realism and immersion. This enables designs to be checked in a form that closely resembles the customer-use environment, including changes in light at different times of the day, weather patterns and other natural elements.
For verification purposes, vehicles can be lined up across the screen, enabling subtle design differences and colours can be closely compared. In addition, the ability to quickly switch model positions and angles in real time allows for faster and easier decision making.
Images projected on the curved screen and ceiling screen can merge with displayed physical models, creating a space that allows designers to expand their imaginations due to the lack of a boundary between the real and the digital.
Acting as a creative hub, the new facility is accessible online from anywhere. According to the company, the removal of obstacles as to where and when designs can be created, the facility aims to create an inclusive, interactive, flexible and creative environment that facilitates more creative and attractive designs.
‘As designers, we are in an exciting time of breakthroughs in development processes within the auto industry, said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president and head of global design at Nissan. ‘At Nissan, we have been racing forward with our dramatic digital shift just as other industries, like gaming, have been on a race of their own. Our new immersive “theatre” harnesses the best of all worlds, gathering state-of-the-art technologies in one dramatic physical and virtual space that creates new levels of inspiration for our teams.’