Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, Germany, on Tuesday announced the opening of a virtual reality centre (VRC), claiming that it would significantly reduce time and cost for commercial vehicle (CV) testing and development.
The VRC, which allows operators to virtually perform serviceability and accessibility checks using a digital model accessed via 3D goggles and navigational joysticks, has the potential to transform both R&D and vehicle servicing procedures, as it reduces the need for custom-built tools, prototype vehicles, and service bays.
The VRC houses a 3D Barco projector, a power wall, advanced real-time tracking cameras, 3D head movement tracker goggles, and virtual reality software capable of seamlessly interacting with the vehicle design via navigational joysticks.
Satyakam Arya, MD & CEO, DICV, said: “The VRC has the potential to make CV servicing and R&D considerably faster, more comprehensive, and more cost-effective. We are excited to pass these benefits on to our customers in the form of affordable, high-tech, high-quality products and services.”
Another benefit of using virtual reality is the opportunities it offers for remote collaboration. Without the need for a physical model and workspace, DICV is able to share the digital models with Daimler Truck colleagues around the world. The teams can access the same model simultaneously to exchange opinions and advice in real-time, even if they are oceans away from each other. In today’s world of travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, these benefits are incalculable.
Arya said: “Before it goes to market, each new model must be evaluated based on how easy it is to service and maintain. The standard process is to develop a prototype version of the vehicle and then test how service technicians can access its parts and perform repairs. This process is repeated multiple times until the vehicle is fit to be mass-produced. The VRC will allow us to replace many of those prototype-building iterations with virtual modelling and testing. It will speed up the development process and free up resources for further enhancing our portfolio.”
DICV’s manufacturing plant at Oragadam near Chennai spreads over 400 acre, including a highly modern test track, and is home to the company’s headquarters, R&D, and training operations. It also manufactures for Daimler Trucks’ brands of FUSO, Mercedes-Benz, and Freightliner. Products and parts are exported to more than 60 markets in the Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the West Asia. DICV represents an overall investment of more than Rs 9,560 crore.
“This is another example of DICV benefitting from the global resources held by its parent company, Daimler Truck AG. We have access to over a century of technological expertise in CV manufacturing and collaborate with experts working in more than 35 locations around the world. This global heritage, combined with our proud Indian roots, gives us an unbeatable advantage,” Arya added.
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