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Make Way for Holograms: New Mixed Reality Technology Meets Car Design As Ford Tests Microsoft HoloLens Globally 2017.09.22

Dearborn, Mich., USA - September 21, 2017 - Ford designers have been swapping some clay-sculpting steels and rakes for mixed reality headsets and visualization software that can change vehicle design elements - side mirrors, grilles, vehicle interiors and more - in mere seconds. Designers have been piloting Microsoft HoloLens technology for a year now in Ford's Dearborn studios, allowing them to see proposed virtual design elements as if these pieces were part of physical vehicles.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
They can more easily and securely share ideas across the company, and consider many more concepts than previously possible.

Photo courtesy of Ford
 

Dearborn, Mich., USA - September 21, 2017

• Ford is expanding testing of Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality technology globally to gain speed in designing more stylish vehicles for its customers

• New technology allows designers wearing wireless headsets to see several digital designs and parts as if these were already incorporated into a physical vehicle; this is helping Ford explore more design proposals while shaving time off design and engineering processes that can take years

• For example, evaluating a vehicle’s side mirror aesthetics and how that affects a driver’s view normally takes days or weeks, but can now be done in minutes, even seconds

Ford designers have been swapping some clay-sculpting steels and rakes for mixed reality headsets and visualization software that can change vehicle design elements – side mirrors, grilles, vehicle interiors and more – in mere seconds.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
They can more easily and securely share ideas across the company, and consider many more concepts than previously possible.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Designers have been piloting Microsoft HoloLens technology for a year now in Ford’s Dearborn studios, allowing them to see proposed virtual design elements as if these pieces were part of physical vehicles.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
They can more easily and securely share ideas across the company, and consider many more concepts than previously possible.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
They’ve been able to explore different shapes, sizes and textures of future vehicle attributes in minutes and hours instead of the weeks and months it can take to create clay models.


And now, Ford is expanding this pioneering testing across the globe.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
“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,” says Jim Holland, Ford vice president, vehicle component and systems engineering.
“Microsoft HoloLens is a powerful tool for designers as we continue to reimagine vehicles and mobility experiences in fast-changing times.”

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
HoloLens technology uses mixed reality, which enables designers to see holograms in photo-quality backdrops through wire-free headsets.

Robert Trecapelli, Director of Global Digital Innovations.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
They can scroll and preview at the flick of a finger through numerous design variations projected virtually onto an actual car or clay model.

Craig Wetzel, Ford manager, design technical operations.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
“We may not be able to teleport yet, but HoloLens allows us to review full-size 3D designs with designers and engineers around the world in real time,” says Craig Wetzel, Ford manager, design technical operations.
“And we’ve only just scratched the surface, so possibilities for the future seem almost limitless. This is very exciting.”

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 

Seeing the future

As designers wearing headsets move around an actual vehicle, the Microsoft HoloLens scans and maps the environment far more accurately than GPS to render holograms and images from the angle at which the vehicle is being viewed.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
A Windows 10 computer embedded in the headsets brings the power of the operating system to a holographic device that is untethered, wearable and mobile.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Traditionally, designers and engineers have to wear headsets that rely on cables tethered to a PC.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Designers see 3D holographic images of themes and features as though these elements were already part of the vehicle – allowing them to quickly evaluate the design, make changes, and determine styling options earlier in development.

Michael Smith, Ford design manager.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
“With HoloLens, we can instantly flip through virtual representations to decide which direction they should go,” says Michael Smith, Ford design manager.
“As a designer, you want to show, not just tell. This is much more compelling.”

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Ford has adapted HoloLens technology to enable designers to collaborate with engineers to better understand the customer experience, too.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
For example, the technology allows a designer and engineer to evaluate in near-real time how a new side mirror looks aesthetically, as well as the customer’s view of the vehicle’s surroundings.

Peter Vale, Senior Program Manager.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Whereas today it can take days, even weeks, to study a grille design, HoloLens allows designers and engineers to explore a variety of different iterations in a matter of hours.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
The headsets can even be synced to allow multiple team members to view a design simultaneously, making collaboration easy.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
They can also record audio notes – high-tech “sticky notes” – for team members working in other time zones or off-site.

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Beyond the global design test, Ford is investigating how to bring HoloLens technology into more engineering development processes to further bolster the company’s lead in using advanced visualization technologies such as virtual reality.

Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 
“HoloLens allows a whole team of people to collaborate, share and experience ideas together,” says Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist.
“Mixing virtual and physical models is exciting, because it helps our designers and engineers communicate effectively and ideate to see what the future looks like earlier in the process. This allows great freedom and efficiency in how prototypes are created or changed.”

Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 

Video
Microsoft HoloLens: Partner Spotlight with Ford

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZQ_DQD7F3U  


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan.

Photo courtesy of Ford
 
The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions.

Photo courtesy of Ford
 
Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide.

For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit
www.corporate.ford.com 


Using HoloLens to visualize full scale models in 3D, Ford design and engineering teams are able to iterate more quickly – processes that used to take weeks now take days because they no longer need to physically build every prototype.
Photo courtesy of Ford
 

Source: Ford Motor Company

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en.html  



ASTROMAN Magazine - 2015.05.01

BUILD 2015: A closer look at the Microsoft HoloLens hardware

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1911  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2016.05.07

Ford Invests $182.2 Million In Pivotal To Accelerate Cloud-Based Software Development. New Labs Drive Ford Smart Mobility Innovation

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=2062  


ASTROMAN Magazine – 2016.05.07

Pivotal Announces Raises $253 Million led by new investor Ford, Microsoft, GE, EMC and VMware

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=2061  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2014.11.09

Ford Announces Senior Leadership Team Changes

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1824  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2014.05.01

Ford Announces Alan Mulally Retiring on July 1, and Mark Fields Named Company President and CEO

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1706  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.12.27

New Ford Mustang is named "Official Car" of 2014 International CES in Las Vegas

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1614  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.12.15

New Virtual Lab Improves Ford Global Vehicle Quality

https://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1605  



Editor-in-Chief of ASTROMAN magazine: Roman Wojtala, Ph.D.


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