VRUT - it stands for Virtual Reality Universal Toolkit. Then again, it’s just as useful and flexible. Development happens exclusively at ŠKODA AUTO, but now we at Green:Code are also getting heavily involved in the process, so why don't we take a closer look?
MEET THE APP
VRUT 2.0 is universal software focused on virtual reality applications. It uses state-of-the-art technologies to offer unique solutions and modules that support virtual processes. One example is our module for virtual training, where anyone can easily set up a training (for example, a center console assembly) or tutorial (the controls in a car) according to their own script without the need for programming knowledge. If needed, other participants can use cooperation to join the same scene ‒ even remotely from halfway around the world.
What’s more, VRUT 2.0 can do online photorealistic presentations using Ray tracing technology, connecting to a wide range of display media (projection walls, CAVE, 3D VR and AR headsets, and a variety of peripherals such as a professional tracking system for tracking a user's location or a hexapod for the driving simulator.
GREEN:CODE & SKODA AUTO
Green:Code was created through the merger of the technology company Etnetera and the automotive leader ŠKODA AUTO. And that's how we made our way to this unique app. As part of VRUT, we mainly help with development and testing. Our application tester Miroslav Šára is currently working on this project, with C++ developer Karel Tomanec working on the general parts and Jan Šimon working on GUI and middleware development (e.g. PKI encryption). Then our programmers handle all the work on the application in collaboration with colleagues from ŠKODA AUTO. Especially with Team&Product manager Michal Rédl and SW architect Antonín Míšek. Business owner Roman Schubert handles the overall concept and development strategy.
The origins of this application date back to 2007, when the "heart" or core of the system was developed in cooperation with Czech Technical University. It was built with a thoroughly modern approach that keeps us competitive to this day. The proof is in the results of performance tests five years ago, when we uploaded 30,000 complete cars (exterior and interior) into VRUT and the total scene had 750,000,000,000 (nope, that’s not a typo – 750 billion) triangles.
Over the following years, the software was developed even further, e.g. to use ergonomic optimization in the interior. Then, in 2010, it was deployed in a CAVE (in our case, one with 4-sided projection). At that time, there was no software on the market that could meet our requirements for VR presentations. Then a breakthrough came in 2014 with the addition of Ray Tracing, which has since enabled us to create physically correct visualizations.
With the increased availability of 3D headsets after 2016, there has also been a boom in the use of virtual reality in virtually all areas within ŠKODA. A significant technological leap happened with VRUT 2.0, which was made public in 2019. This evolution brought a completely redesigned user interface with unique characteristic elements, an entirely new unique definition of materials with physically correct behavior, a move toward rendering using the Vulkan interface, and the virtual training module mentioned above.
It should be noted that its flexibility, enhanced by the synergistic use of data in a uniform format throughout the company, makes VRUT 2.0 that much more interesting of an alternative. Future unique solutions are in the works. Get ready to be surprised!