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How Ford, Bosch Are Using Virtual Reality to Train Technicians On All-Electric Mustang Mach-E

DEARBORN, Mich. Feb. 14, 2020 – Technicians soon will be trained how to service and maintain the all-electric Mustang Mach-E without need to access a physical model – thanks to a new virtual reality (VR) training tool from Ford and Bosch.

“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.”

Here’s how it all works: A technician will learn how to diagnose and perform service related to the vehicle’s high-voltage system wearing the virtual reality headset. This includes tasks such as removal and installation of the main battery as well as service and maintenance on the battery pack itself.

Bosch also is developing future extensions where the technicians utilize VR to enter the vehicle and navigate through modules as if they were walking through rooms to learn the system. Navigating between modules enables the technicians to determine the issue to repair the vehicle.

“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.”

This new virtual reality system can be used as an ongoing training tool, allowing technicians to learn niche skills in the Ford technical training program. Virtual reality training has the potential to attract new hires to the automotive repair world, rightly framing the profession as a high-tech, forward-thinking industry in which technicians can learn more efficiently in a state-of-the-art environment. Additionally, technicians can tap into the system from any location.

Bosch developed a proof of concept in 2019 for automotive service training via virtual reality, then market tested it with instructors, technicians and college students. Ford Motor Company is the first automaker to pilot the application in its service technician powertrain repair course, specifically with the all-new Mustang Mach-E, the company’s first all-electric SUV. Ford could expand the technology to train on additional vehicles in the future.

The virtual reality training solution uses an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset from Facebook. Ford and Bosch are working with Oculus for Business to manage their fleet of headsets deployed to the Ford technician training program, as well as with PIXO VR. The company’s proprietary virtual reality content distribution platform enables scaling and iterating virtual reality training software and applications.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 190,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit corporate.ford.com.

About Bosch

Having established a regional presence in 1906 in North America, the Bosch Group employs 35,400 associates in more than 100 locations, as of December 31, 2019. In 2019 Bosch generated consolidated sales of $14.4 billion in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.bosch.us, www.bosch.ca and www.bosch.mx.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 403,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of $86.5 billion in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 72,000 associates in research and development.

 

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861–1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

 

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/boschpress.

 

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