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Brands are constantly scrambling to find ways to cut down on their product design life cycles in order to get their products to consumers faster, but this isn’t always easy. For instance, 93% of auto manufacturers face issues in shortening their go-to-market strategy, according to Jabil. The emergence of VR tools for product design processes, however, presents a promising technology that brands are beginning to use to address pain points associated with lengthy design processes.

British automaker McLaren Automotive started working with Vector Suite, a VR software solutions company, in the summer of 2017 to speed up its car design process. Business Insider Intelligence spoke with Vector Suite CEO Neil Johnston to understand the challenges that drew McLaren to Vector Suite’s VR capabilities, the strategy behind the implementation of its VR tool, and the impact it’s had on McLaren Automotive’s business.

Challenge: McLaren wanted to accelerate the sketching phase of its car design process. McLaren, like most other car manufacturers, began its vehicle design process by sketching 2D static images of potential cars on computer programs, such as Adobe Photoshop. Those 2D static images then needed to be manually translated into 3D models, which entailed a back-and-forth communicative process between a designer and a specialized 3D modeler hired from an agency. The entire process, from 2D sketching to 3D modeling, would take two to three weeks; McLaren was looking for a way to accelerate that time frame and get vehicles into production faster.

Strategy: The automaker partnered with Vector Suite to enable vehicle sketching in 3D with VR. The two companies collaborated to create a VR tool that enables designers to start sketching in 3D using the Oculus Rift VR headset and its motion controllers. The tool allows designers to draw lines, manipulate angles, and adjust the size and shape of their sketches in 3D as opposed to in 2D through Photoshop. This enables designers to create sketches that directly export into the company’s [...]