Inside Unity’s new commitment to the automotive and transport industry
The Unity senior technical product manager on automotive
Imagine travelling across 15 cities in eight countries over 25 days, to attend 52 meetings. That’s what senior product manager Ed Martin did in his sixth year working for Unity. Meeting with customers face to face and understanding how they’re using and want to use Unity is key, he says, “Now that we have a global team for automotive, we have engineers located in customer locations around the world, we have business development people located to provide that kind of individual service to customers. That’s actually lightened my travel a little bit and they’re providing a lot of feedback to me as well.”
Martin has been working across the automotive industry in a variety of engineering design roles across the US and Europe for years. He was at Autodesk for nine years – for more than half of those years he was the automotive industry manager at the company but it wasn’t until he joined Unity that he became more hands-on.
That was certainly the case at Unite Berlin 2018, where Martin had spent time not only being a core part of the event but also to meet customers and hear their feedback while in Germany. The Unity event also saw the debut of Autotech Summit. Just one month prior, Unity had officially revealed its commitment to the automotive industry, “When we had Unite in Austin , we hadn’t announced our entry into automotive, we hadn’t reached critical mass, and around the world hired [staff to work] with customers and now we do, so this was the perfect time. I’ve been blown away by the customer participation in this. I’ve worked for other companies in the past where we had events and it took years to develop something like this. Just the quality and extent of customer presentations and the number of people who have participated, it gives me a warm feeling, it’s a wonderful thing!”
Next on the horizon for Unity’s automotive commitment is to continue solving workflow problems. “Unity isn’t the tool that’s used for all aspects of vehicle development,” he admits, “but can really speed up that process and help them to do what they can’t do today.
“To do that effectively, they need to get that data into Unity effectively… So what we want to do is make that process a lot more convenient for them, so that involves working with PIXYZ on CAD data import [the partnership was announced in March 2018]. You’re going to see much tighter integration and better workfows that speed up the import process and provide perfect import of all the meta data, hierarchy, geometry, materials, so that you have a very accurate representation of your design in Unity.”
Also key to development is simply making licensing and deployment processes friendlier for enterprises. “It’s just a given if you work in an enterprise like this, you can’t be buying individual licences for individuals tied to individual machines, you need to be able to share that with hundreds of people.
“It’s all [about] solving the practical problems that customers have, that is really our focus for the near future.”
JOB TITLESenior technical product managerLocation Detroit, Michigan Website unity.com/solutions/auto Biography Ed Martin is a senior technical product manager at Unity Technologies and is responsible for Unity’s product offerings for the automotive and transportation industries. Ed is passionate about anything with wheels, wings or fins. After working in engineering and product management roles with General Motors and Delphi in the US and Europe, he moved to Autodesk where he was the automotive industry lead, before seeing the light and joining Unity to drive the adoption of real-time 3D experiences for everything from concept design to customer experience.