Ford has actively used VR and AR solutions in product development in the recent years.
In 2017, Ford made use of AR to replace large clay models that car designers traditionally use to visualise new vehicles as they are developed, as well as to enhance 2D computer renderings on a screen. 3D real-time technology such as AR puts the object in space, making it a more realistic process.
Using Microsoft’s HoloLens, Ford’s designers see a hologram laid over either a clay model or an actual car, and scroll through various design changes to see how they look from different angles. This allows them to quickly tweak the size, shape and texture of design elements without the need to spend up to months, building a new clay model again and again. The time saved allows Ford designers to experiment and iterate quickly to come up with even more stylish, clever vehicles.
In 2020, Ford took to VR to further accelerate their vehicle design process by skipping the 2D stage, and going straight to a 3D model. Exterior and interior designers create cars in a virtual room using a special headset.
With gesture control, designers sketch designs with mere gestures, and the result is a virtual car they can view from any angle. Designers can even place a virtual driver in the vehicle, or step inside to feel the vehicle themselves – giving designers a 360-degree view and experience of the vehicle as it is being created.