Ford taps into online gaming technology to raise quality image

In the past, the concept “One Ford” has referenced everything from employee morale to common components. Now the company has a new meaning for it: 3D ultra-high-definition technology used by engineers and designers around the globe.

Ford engineers on different continents are using a virtual reality space to collect input from designers and engineers around the world. The objective is to use the high-definition technology to improve quality before vehicles reach the prototype stage in vehicle development.

“We now have Ford designers and engineers around the world working together virtually – inside and side-by-side – on the same product, ” said Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist. “By using this technology, designers and engineers can quickly transition from one car design proposal to another, and they can study and identify which is the best option.”

The product development space used by Ford has adapted some of the technology used for popular online 3D games to allow the company’s engineers and designers to experience a vehicle the way a consumer would in a showroom. This virtual space allows them to create visuals almost indistinguishable from a real car and leads to better quality and craftsmanship, Baron said.

It was used during the development of the new Ford Fusion to ensure the placement of the side-view mirror was set for optimal visibility. It allowed them to makes changes without impacting the design of the car. Engineers used the same technology to maximize rear without losing style using an ultra thin LED center brake light.

On the all-new Ford Mustang, craftsmanship engineers changed the fit and finish of Mustang’s dashboard and windshield wipers. The initial image revealed that the wipers were seen when not in use. By changing a few parts, they were able to hide them giving the car a cleaner look.