Ford is aiming to speed up the development of future models by expanding the use of Microsoft HoloLens technology.
The company has been using the mixed reality wireless headset at its design studio in Dearborn, Michigan for the past year and the results have been extremely positive. As the company explains, the headset allows designers to see “proposed virtual design elements as if these pieces were part of physical vehicles.”
This enables the design team to quickly and easily evaluate multiple designs and their impact on drivers. In particular, Ford says evaluating a vehicle’s side mirror aesthetics and how it would affect a driver’s view previously took days or weeks. Now the process can be done in minutes.
Of course, the benefits extend far beyond door mirror as designers can use HoloLens to explore a variety of different grille designs in just a few hours. The headset can also be used to show a proposed vehicle instead of waiting months for a clay model to be constructed.
According to Ford vice president of vehicle component and systems engineering Jim Holland, “It’s amazing we can combine the old and the new – clay models and holograms – in a way that both saves time and allows designers to experiment and iterate quickly to dream up even more stylish, clever vehicles.”
Ford will begin rolling out HoloLens technology to its other design studios and the company is investigating other areas HoloLens technology could be beneficial.