Virtual Reality Program Trains Ford Techs To Work On Mustang Mach-E
If you have watched any of the advertising for various virtual reality headsets, you have probably seen a scene where several people are playing a virtual reality game. It not only shows you have far virtual reality has come in 25 years, but it also shows how sophisticated the software that drives virtual reality (VR) has become. VR has become so refined today that it is useful in training, teaching, medicine, showing detail that is incredible.
Looking Closely At The VR Program
Let’s look more closely at VR training headsets and software. Ford and Bosch have teamed up to use VR headsets to assist training Ford’s electric vehicle technicians. The technicians are learning the skills needed to make them valuable additions to any staff. Ford and Bosche are using virtual reality headsets to develop and deploy new virtual reality (VR) programs to train technicians on the2020 all-new all-electric Mustang Mach-E.
Dave Johnson, head of Ford Service Engineering Operations, said enthusiastically recently that “technicians will be immersed in a simulated and gamified world, meaning they won’t need to rely on actual Mustang Mach-E vehicles to learn about its components, including the electric SUV’s new high-voltage system.” The new training tool “allows technicians to understand the components and steps required to service these high-voltage systems, then confidently perform diagnostics and maintenance.”
Techs Diagnose And Perform Service With VR
In operation, a technician will diagnose and perform service related to the vehicle’s high-voltage system wearing the VR headset. Techs will use the headset tool to learn tasks such as removal and installation of the main battery, and service and maintenance on the battery pack itself.
How does the system work? In action, techs will find “rooms” assigned to each program module. As they learn each component system, technicians will walk through corresponding rooms. Moving between VR rooms, the tech learns will learn how to service the vehicle. The navigation between the modules teaches the techs how to repair the Mustang Mach-E.
VR Technolohgy Builds Efficiency
The director of operations at Bosch, Geoff Mee, said that the “virtual reality training solution is about new technology that builds efficiency. By improving the diagnostic process, technicians are able to perform maintenance and make repairs faster and more easily.”
The new system opens up many opportunities. For example, it can serve as an ongoing training tool. The VR system lets technicians learn niche skills in the Ford technical training program. VR has the potential to attract new-hires to the auto repair world, framing the profession as a high-tech, forward-thinking industry in which technicians can learn more efficiency in a state-of-the-art environment. Also, techs can tap into the system from any remote location.
System Develooped In 2019
Bosch developed this VR system in 2019 as a proof of concept. The concept was simple: they had to show that VR could handle automotive service training. With development completed, the system was tested extensively by instructors, technicians, and students. After the completion of the testing rollout phase, Ford became the first automaker to pilot the program. The automaker used the Mustang Mach-E high-power training course as the pilot. The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first all-electric SUV. One of the beauties of the new course is that Ford can expand the technology to offer training on additional vehicles in the future.
The VR training system uses anOculus Quest virtual reality headset from Facebook. Ford and Bosch are working with Oculus for Business to manage the fleet of headsets deployed as parts of the Ford training program. The VR portion of the program is Pixo VR, the company’s proprietary VR content distribution platform. Pixo VR enables scaling and iterating virtual reality training software.
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper’s auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn’t much on four wheels that I haven’t driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.