Ed Martin

In­side Unity’s new com­mit­ment to the au­to­mo­tive and trans­port in­dus­try

3D Artist - - CONTENTS -

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 [2017], 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.”

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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.

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