Fortnite creator Epic Games is partnering with carmakers, starting with General Motors, to use its Unreal Engine game development platform to build in-car software in what Epic is calling its “human-machine interface” (HMI) initiative. The first car to use Unreal Engine, which is the primary software toolset with which developers make Fortnite and countless other big-budget video games, will be GMC’s upcoming Hummer EV, set to be unveiled on October 20th.
The logic is simple: modern cars are primarily designed using software, and assembled cars carry scores of onboard computers and rely on touchscreens and digital interfaces to power infotainment centers and other sources of information displayed to drivers. And Unreal Engine is a great platform for building software, which Epic thinks makes it a great platform for building the software that goes into cars.
“When you sit in the driver’s seat of a modern car today, the way you interact with the vehicle is different from a few years ago. Buttons and screens dominate the dashboard, steering wheel, and instrument pane, providing features that may be new to you. Electrification is at the root of many of these advances, with digital hardware such as cameras, sensors, and displays, combined with cutting-edge technology like Unreal Engine, forming a framework on which to build new experiences,” the company explains in a blog post. “At Epic Games, we’ve long been interested in the way the requirements for HMI development overlap with those of game development. Much of the functionality required to create HMI systems has been available in Unreal Engine for some time.”
Epic says carmakers like GMC and the user interface and user experience designers tasked with crafting the software that car owners will interact with in the finished product can do more
Ford has slashed the price of its upcoming all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover by as much as $3,000 as the automaker seeks to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded and unsettled sector of the automotive market.
The price reductions, which were shared with dealerships and then posted Tuesday on the Mach-E Club owners’ forum, will be provided to everyone, including customers who already reserved a vehicle. TechCrunch confirmed the document with Ford.
Customers with existing reservations have until mid-October to make changes to their orders in light of the price change. The first Mustang Mach-E vehicles are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.
“Exceptional value has always been a hallmark of the Mustang brand. In addition to its great all-electric driving range and performance, we’re adjusting Mustang Mach-E pricing to remain fully competitive in a segment that is seeing dynamic price changes,” Ford said on the pricing sheet, the same language sent to TechCrunch by a spokesperson.
Automakers tweaking prices on vehicles is commonplace. But in the wild and wooly world of EVs, a marketplace that Tesla has long dominated, pricing can fluctuate often and quickly. Price changes are straightforward for EV companies like Tesla that use a direct sales model. It’s more complicated for legacy automakers such as Ford or GM that use the dealership model.
Ford cut prices on the base models of all Mach-E vehicles — effective Tuesday — except for the GT. The cost of Ford’s Mach-E premium models were reduced by $3,000. Ford cut the price of the CA Route 1 models by $2,000 and the “select” and “first” edition models by $1,000.
Ford unveiled the electric crossover last November. The vehicle marks a series of firsts for Ford and the Mustang badge. It’s the first vehicle to come out of Team