Audi is testing a virtual-reality ‘holodeck’ for assessing the design of new car models. It creates a workable, virtual environment with a three-dimensional image of a car that allows engineers to gain a “realistic overall impression” of a new model and its proportions at an earlier stage, the company said in a statement. The idea is to cut the number of complex physical test models and save development time and costs. Audi has used virtually created 3-D models since 2003; the new ‘holodeck’ process is likened to the science-fiction series Star Trek in which special rooms can simulate virtual worlds. In Audi’s holodeck, cars can be “displayed realistically and with the correct proportions,” and be experienced from inside as well as outside.

Martin Rademacher (left) and his colleagues from Audi’s planning are testing the Virtual Reality Holodeck to assess the design of a new automobile model.

Virtual reality allows Audi to assess parts and systems without actually having to build those parts and systems, thus saving time and money. (PHOTO: AUDI)

Virtual reality speeds vehicle development: