London - Ford engineers used virtual reality technology to refine boot opening, improve visibility and even reduce interior reflections in its new Tourneo Connect.
Ford experts in Brentwood, England, developed and tested many of the key features of both its Tourneo Connect and Grand Tourneo Connect using virtual reality prototypes at its Computer Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE), in Cologne, Germany.
Engineers used 3D-glasses framed with motion detectors and sat in a prototype interior to test and refine elements in the automaker’s Tourneo Connect. The Cave is an animated external environment complete with pedestrians and cyclists.
Rather than building vehicle prototypes, a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, its Cave allows the automaker to test and refine thousands of design details from the size and position of cup-holders to rear-window visibility.
Tourneo Connect chief programme engineer Stephen Lesh said: “We still rely on the know-how and imagination of our engineers to bring smart new designs to life, but this sophisticated tool enables them to develop the car in a digital world and then actually get in it and experience it as a customer would.”
The Cave could test entertainment systems and even offer advanced driving simulations.