Ford: transforming technician training with virtual reality

By Brittany Hill

With the all-electric Mustang Mach-E expected to be seen on the roads in 2021, Ford has begun its testing of VR technician training for its new wheels. 

The new technology developed by Ford and Bosch, will provide technician’s with access to service and maintenance training for the new Mustang without needing a vehicle present. 

Using Virtual Reality (VR), a technician will learn how to diagnose and perform services on the new vehicle by wearing Facebook’s Oculus Quest VR headset. Current tasks available include: removal and installation of the main battery as well as service and maintenance. 

“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,” said Dave Johnson, director of Ford service engineering operations. “This new virtual reality training tool allows technicians to understand the components and steps required to service these high-voltage systems, then confidently perform diagnostics and maintenance.”

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The proof of concept for the technology was developed back in 2019 by Bosch, making Ford Motor Company the first automaker to pilot the application. If successful the company has plans to expand the use of the technology for its other vehicles.

Looking into the technology’s future, Bosch also plans to develop future extensions where technicians will be able to enter the vehicles and navigate through modules. 

“The virtual reality training solution is about new technology that builds efficiency,” said Geoff Mee, director of operations for Bosch. “By improving the diagnostic process, technicians are able to perform maintenance and make repairs faster and more easily.”

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