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Ford Media Center
DEARBORN, Mich., May 6, 2019 – A designer from Shanghai and another from Dearborn step into a virtual design space together to make changes to a global vehicle design. Both walk around the 3D design, review it and make changes on the fly. Once finished, the two remove their VR headsets and return to their separate workspaces -- thousands of miles apart.
Thanks to Co-Creation, a feature developed by Gravity Sketch in collaboration with Ford, designers across the globe can create, collaborate and evaluate vehicle designs with one another in real time without leaving their physical workspace.
Ford is the first automaker to work with Gravity Sketch – a 3D virtual reality tool that enables designers to create more human-centric vehicle design. Designers trade in their sketchpads for a headset and controllers to become immersed in virtual reality, imitating gestural interactions through motion tracking that replicates sketching with pen and paper. Designers can draw, rotate, expand and compress a 3D sketch. The Co-Creation feature allows multiple designers to engage in content creation, while making these real-time adjustments.
Consumer purchasing trends differ in each global region, meaning an attractive design in one region may not be as appealing in another. Co-Creation gives designers from different regions the opportunity to come together in one space and review a 3D sketch to make important decisions earlier in the design process.
”The Co-Creation feature adds more voices to the conversation in a virtual environment, which results in more efficient design work that may help accelerate a vehicle program’s development,” says Ford Design Manager Michael Smith.
Gravity Sketch allows designers to speed the process from weeks to hours, skipping the 2D stage and working with a 3D model from the beginning. Through Co-Creation, a designer can transfer to another designer’s point of view within virtual reality to see from his or her perspective. This is especially helpful when training other designers in Gravity Sketch.
Across five global Ford design studios, dozens of interior and exterior designers are now experimenting with Gravity Sketch for workflow feasibility and its capability for real-time co-creation and collaboration. Shifting to a model that designs and evaluates in virtual reality could revolutionize the entire process by drastically reducing development time and allowing for more 3D representations in the evaluation stage.
“Our collaboration with Ford designers has enabled us to get immersed in their creative process and discover ways to help fine-tune this application to better suit their needs so they can build the best possible vehicles for their customers,” said Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Gravity Sketch CEO & Co-founder.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 177,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.