The winners of the Unreal Engine HMI Design Challenge held in partnership Car Design News have been announced

The winners of the Unreal Engine HMI Design Challenge held in partnership with Car Design News have been announced. Each of the finalists submitted compelling, forward-looking designs, complete with a graphically rich UI and an HMI system that focused on the safety, utility, entertainment and wellbeing of the vehicles’ passengers.

You can see a highlight reel of the finalists work below and watch interviews with the winners here

Judged by an expert panel, including leading HMI experts from the likes of BMW, Rivian and Toyota Connected, the prizes were awarded to the best individual and best group project.

The group winner was the Yazaki Corporation supported by Mackevision, part of Accenture Song for creating a HMI for truck drivers which promoted safety and comfort with smart recognition.

“We believe driving a vehicle should be a pleasant experience. However, about 1.3 million precious lives are lost in road accidents worldwide every year. In particular, according to a U.S government report, 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle cases include a large truck and it has increased by 31% in the last 10 years. This tendency is expected to increase as commercial trucks become more widespread in emerging countries,” said Hidetaka Sugimoto from the Yazaki Corporation.

”Along with human error and environmental factors, it has been pointed out that stress caused by fatigue and work pressure is a major cause. We have been developing HMI products for commercial vehicles for many years and believe that it is an area where we can utilize our experience, knowledge and creativity.”

Hidetaka Sugimoto Yazaki Corporation HMI Unreal Engine Epic Games challenge

Hidetaka Sugimoto claimed the group award

David Leister, UI design lead at BMW commented: “This was the most futuristic entry with nice ideas in regards to gamification and interior design (all digital). Also the idea to use the windows for additional information and augmentation is really cool. Therefore from our perspective it is the most complete package of all entries.”

The individual winner was James Cumberbatch for his cinematic take on HMI, which incorporated elements of clean neon graphics and photorealism. In explaining his design, Cumberbatch said he was inspired by the simplicity of the controls of his 10-year-old VW Camper. “I’ve got a background in building user interfaces on other platforms and wanted to try to use these skills with Unreal Engine,” said Cumberbatch.

“The HMI’s that are coming to the automotive world offer a whole new way of consuming content. For the demo, I kept things very safe and looked at a car that would be driven in two to three years time. The really exciting experiences will come as cars become fully self driving. This will pull in more entertainment and retail experiences that will adapt with the users journey. Michael Leister from BMW praised Cumberbatch for his use of both 2D and 3D graphics. “Creating a digital twin of the truck and bringing it into the HMI as a rotating, controllable interface was a great use of Unreal Engine’s real-time rendering capabilities.”

James Cumberbatch Unreal Engine Epic Games

James Cumberbatch’s cinematic approach to HMI

The winners will now have the opportunity to work with a designer from the panel of judges and have their work featured in prestigious car industry book Car Design Review alongside a one-year subscription to Car Design News and biannual print magazine Interior Motives.

The Unreal Engine HMI Design Challenge captured the imagination of the CDN audience, garnering more than 200 registrations from over 30 countries.