BMW Online Configurators
Product configurators play a central role in a modern sales process – whether on-line or in sales talks. They fulfil the customers’ wish to initially design their vehicle virtually and experience it digitally in their personal configuration.
The product variants of a vehicle are almost infinite. Intelligent solutions are needed so that all possible combinations can be displayed on-line and visually in high quality. These solutions must be able to respond to high parallel access rates in milliseconds, run efficiently on all devices from the mobile telephone to the desktop computer and incur the lowest possible running costs.
The 3D data models of the products form the visual basis of the configurator. They are provided with realistic materials and perfectly placed in the scene with the help of illumination, just like in a real photographic session. Now, however, the production of all possible product variants as full images is simply impossible due to the extremely high number. The solution lies in rendering individual parts and assemblies. Using a compositing server developed for this purpose, we combine these, on demand and in real time, for a final image. The individual visual components of an image are virtually like pieces of a puzzle and are assembled in milliseconds for the vehicle configuration desired by the customer. This layer-based approach allows fully configurable images of vehicle exterior and interior by day or night. These can thus no longer be distinguished from reality.
As the result of a partnership that has lasted for more than twelve years, we can look back on the production of more than 14 series with more than 50 models. The latest example of our work is the first all-electric Gran Coupé, the BMW i4. Continuously questioning the status quo and our claim to be the industry best allows us to continuously improve our production pipeline. This is how we drive forward the automation of workflows and ensure that visuals follow current trends, or better, set current trends. We extend the scope, integrate accessories, from the roof box to the trailer coupling and increase the possibilities of interaction with the product. Every vehicle benefits from our years of experience and underpins our claim to leadership in the area of configurator content.