Thursday, 26 April, 2018

After Successful Pilot Testing Ford Is Expanding Its HoloLens Program

Ford Combines Virtual And Real World To Develop New Products Ford Tests Microsoft HoloLens for automotive design
Terence Owen | 22 September, 2017, 00:31

Traditional automotive design has relied on the use of clay models that can take up to months to create. WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert was able to try it out.

Microsoft says HoloLens technology lets Ford create more freely and iterate designs more quickly. Two things stick out in my mind- they confiscated my smartphone at the door and there were bags of clay stacked everywhere in the halls for use in designing cars.

"It's fantastic 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.

"We're always looking for new opportunities to accelerate our development and this is one of the tools in the toolbox that we're very excited about", he said.

Facebook says it will hand over 3000 Russian ads over to Congress
In one change, Facebook will make it possible for anyone to see any political ad that runs on Facebook, no matter whom it targets. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company is "actively working" with government investigators on the matter.

Microsoft's mixed-reality headset is dodging the excitement of gaming and focusing on less glamorous but potentially more worthwhile projects.

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. Ford found the headset improved creativity, collaboration and ultimately time to market. At Ford styling reviews it's more like what you see is what could be - or it could be this, or this, as a presenter gestures, and elements of the potential design instantly change.

In the past year, Ford designers have tested the use of Microsoft's HoloLens technology for exploring different shapes, textures, and sizes of future vehicles. "This is much more compelling".

Using HoloLens the design team at Ford were able to make the thousands of design decisions needed for each vehicle faster, and collaborate better with their partners in engineering and management. A decade prior, in 2004, Ford Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization Tech Specialist Elizabeth Baron says the automaker conducted virtual testing of the first-generation Ford GT supercar using whatever comparatively crude hardware and software were available. "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".

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