It goes without saying building a car is difficult. Building an electric racing car, in a nation that has no background in high-tech production of this scale is a task that prompts many naysayers. So how did we succeed?
With the complexity of the project, it became painfully evident how difficult the task was for a new-found team. Here’s how we were able to make a core weakness into a strength. With the multi-disciplinary engineers required for such a monumental project often projects can become immensely siloed, as one group dives deep into their subject matter. This can lead to devastating impacts on the project’s success, as at the end of the day the goal is not to create multiple siloed projects but rather one cohesive product. As a new team, it became clear that we had to find innovative ways to keep the team all on the same page. I sought to find the best solutions to this problem in the open market but quickly found that there was no easy bandage solution to such problems.
Through observational studies, I was able to get a clear understanding of where our team was having the biggest hurdles. The largest hole was due to the physical nature of our product, standard solutions like Jira were not being effective in communication of the product itself, and there was a lot being lost in communication leading to many efficiencies in the product development.
The Solution? Leverage augmented-reality innovations to keep the team (around the world) all in sync. With my findings through my interviews with various stakeholders in the project across all levels, it became clear that the team’s Jira tracker and a wall full of stick notes carefully stringed to various car components in a technical blueprint simply wasn’t the solution to their problems.
I took their 3DS max renders of the car, and created an augmented reality mobile app that allowed all engineers to be able to pin issues directly onto the car itself virtually. Users could further tag the issue relevant to various facets of development i.e electrical, software, hardware, etc. such that a viewer could filter by certain notes and the model would update in real-time with the relevant pins. Beyond being a simple, intuitive, and sleek way for our engineers to engage with the car both in-site and out of site, the app in post A/B testing was a clear success point in the R&D pipeline and a cornerstone of the success of the car’s succinct and connected nature.
- AR Core
- AR Kit
- Autodesk Maya
The various groups were able to utilize the AR tool to rapidly increase bug resolution, and the tool is credited with a rapid increase in the product’s Go2Market time and bringing a whole new perspective on what collaboration could look like for large-scale projects.
The results of AR and extended reality usage beyond entertainment were evident. I took my learnings from this unique use case to explore deeper on how we can use other forms of extended reality i.e VR to solve other learning objectives the company was facing across product suites.