Powered up: 5G and virtual reality accelerate vehicle battery design

2 mins read

Qualcomm and partners have announced the world’s first VR and 5G proof of concept which is enabling UK electric vehicle manufacturer Hyperbat to cut battery development time and cost.

A project using edge computing and the world's first 5G-enabled VR technology is enabling two engineering teams in Oxfordshire and Coventry, normally about 70 miles apart, to collaborate as if they were in the same room. The project is taking place at Hyperbat, the UK's largest independent electric vehicle battery manufacturer. The company's engineers are able to work simultaneously on a 1:1 scale digital twin of an EV battery.

They can immerse themselves in virtual tasks that mimic real life thanks to renders created using NVIDIA GPUs, RTX Virtual Workstation software and NVIDIA CloudXR technology. The digital transformation results in reduced inefficiencies and faster design processes.

Working in a New Reality

In partnership with BT. Ericsson, the GRID Factory. Masters of Pie, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and NVIDIA, the team at Hyperbat has developed a proof of concept that uses VR to power collaborative sessions.

Using a digital twin with VR delivers greater clarity during the design process. Engineers can work together from anywhere to effectively identify and rectify errors during the vehicle battery design process, making projects more cost-effective.

See Hyperbat's system in action:

Masters of Pie's collaboration engine, called Radical, delivers a real-time extended reality (XR) experience that allows design and manufacturing teams to freely interact with 3D, life-size model of an electric vehicle battery. This gives the Hyperbat team a single source of truth for each project - no need for numerous iterations.  

The 5G-enabled VR headset powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 platform has been designed specifically to address all the challenges of extended reality. This gives the team an untethered experience thanks to superfast 5G connectivity and can be launched with just one click. It doesn't require a lengthy setup, nor the importing and exporting of data. Designers can put on their headsets and get straight to work.

Speed is Key

5G's ultra-low latency, deployed using Ericsson antennas over a private BT network at Hyperbat, provides faster speeds and more reliable connections, as well as immediate response times.

Combining 5G with the cloud and XR removes inefficiencies in design processes and speeds up production lines, improvements that could greatly benefit the wider manufacturing sector.

And using Project Aurora - NVIDIA's CloudXR and RTX Virtual Workstation software platform for XR streaming at the edge of the 5G network - large amounts pf data can be rapidly processed on remote computers before being streamed to VR headsets with ultra-low latency.

Innovation on a New Scale

AI is reshaping every industry. VR and augmented reality provide windows for AI in industry and new design possibilities, with 5G making the technology more accessible.

“Hyperbat’s use case is another demonstration of how 5G and digitalization can really help boost the U.K.’s economy and industry,” said Katherine Ainley, CEO of Ericsson UK and Ireland. This technology “can really drive efficiency and help us innovate on a whole new scale,” she said.