Technology – Hills Social http://social.hillsford.co.uk Mon, 10 Sep 2018 12:31:05 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-tests-microsoft-hololens-globally/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-tests-microsoft-hololens-globally/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 09:42:10 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7344 The post FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY appeared first on Hills Social.

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MAKE WAY FOR HOLOGRAMS: NEW MIXED REALITY TECHNOLOGY MEETS CAR DESIGN AS FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY

  • Ford is expanding testing of Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality technology globally to gain speed in designing more stylish vehicles for its customers
  • New technology allows designers wearing wireless headsets to see several digital designs and parts as if these were already incorporated into a physical vehicle; this is helping Ford explore more design proposals while shaving time off design and engineering processes that can take years
  • For example, evaluating a vehicle’s side mirror aesthetics and how that affects a driver’s view normally takes days or weeks, but can now be done in minutes, even seconds

Ford designers have been swapping some clay-sculpting steels and rakes for mixed reality headsets and visualization software that can change vehicle design elements – side mirrors, grilles, vehicle interiors and more – in mere seconds.

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. They’ve been able to explore different shapes, sizes and textures of future vehicle attributes in minutes and hours instead of the weeks and months it can take to create clay models. And now, Ford is expanding this pioneering testing across the globe.

“It’s amazing 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. “Microsoft HoloLens is a powerful tool for designers as we continue to reimagine vehicles and mobility experiences in fast-changing times.”

HoloLens technology uses mixed reality, which enables designers to see holograms in photo-quality backdrops through wire-free headsets. They can scroll and preview at the flick of a finger through numerous design variations projected virtually onto an actual car or clay model.

“We may not be able to teleport yet, but HoloLens allows us to review full-size 3D designs with designers and engineers around the world in real time,” says Craig Wetzel, Ford manager, design technical operations. “And we’ve only just scratched the surface, so possibilities for the future seem almost limitless. This is very exciting.”

Seeing the future
As designers wearing headsets move around an actual vehicle, the Microsoft HoloLens scans and maps the environment far more accurately than GPS to render holograms and images from the angle at which the vehicle is being viewed. A Windows 10 computer embedded in the headsets brings the power of the operating system to a holographic device that is untethered, wearable and mobile. Traditionally, designers and engineers have to wear headsets that rely on cables tethered to a PC.

Designers see 3D holographic images of themes and features as though these elements were already part of the vehicle – allowing them to quickly evaluate the design, make changes, and determine styling options earlier in development.

“With HoloLens, we can instantly flip through virtual representations to decide which direction they should go,” says Michael Smith, Ford design manager. “As a designer, you want to show, not just tell. This is much more compelling.”

Ford has adapted HoloLens technology to enable designers to collaborate with engineers to better understand the customer experience, too. For example, the technology allows a designer and engineer to evaluate in near-real time how a new side mirror looks aesthetically, as well as the customer’s view of the vehicle’s surroundings.

Whereas today it can take days, even weeks, to study a grille design, HoloLens allows designers and engineers to explore a variety of different iterations in a matter of hours. The headsets can even be synced to allow multiple team members to view a design simultaneously, making collaboration easy. They can also record audio notes – high-tech “sticky notes” – for team members working in other time zones or off-site.

Beyond the global design test, Ford is investigating how to bring HoloLens technology into more engineering development processes to further bolster the company’s lead in using advanced visualization technologies such as virtual reality.

“HoloLens allows a whole team of people to collaborate, share and experience ideas together,” says Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist. “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. This allows great freedom and efficiency in how prototypes are created or changed.”

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DIGITAL SHOWROOMS http://social.hillsford.co.uk/digital-showrooms/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/digital-showrooms/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:17:33 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7290 GAMING HELPS FORD SHARE A PASSION FOR DRIVING WITH MORE CONSUMERS THAN EVER BEFORE The virtual driving simulator series Forza Motorsport acts as a digital showroom for Ford, enabling more consumers than ever before to experience rare, high-performance vehicles like the Ford GT. At Gamescom – Europe’s biggest interactive games trade fair – experts from Ford and Microsoft

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GAMING HELPS FORD SHARE A PASSION FOR DRIVING WITH MORE CONSUMERS THAN EVER BEFORE

The virtual driving simulator series Forza Motorsport acts as a digital showroom for Ford, enabling more consumers than ever before to experience rare, high-performance vehicles like the Ford GT.

At Gamescom – Europe’s biggest interactive games trade fair – experts from Ford and Microsoft are participating in a panel discussion about the growing relevance of digital driving experiences for consumers.

Forza Motorsport 6 players have collectively spent more than 398 years driving a total of more than 466 million kilometres (290 million miles) in Ford vehicles since the game’s launch in 2015. The Ford GT – the game’s cover star – is the most driven car in the game, having covered 66 million kilometres (41 million miles).

The Ford GT and the acclaimed Focus RS hot hatchback are among the Ford vehicles available to race in Forza. A Ford specialist worked with the game’s developers to ensure every virtual Ford model featured delivers the most accurate imitation of the real car.

Ford and Turn10 studios spent almost a year developing the virtual version of the Ford GT using real-world data from the supercar’s top-secret development process to deliver highly realistic looks, performance, and even engine and transmissions sounds.

In the future, Ford anticipates virtual reality technology could offer a convenient way for customers to test drive vehicles from the comfort of their homes.

Immersive experiences at Gamescom

Visitors to Ford’s Gamescom stand will discover interactive activities, including the opportunity to experience the first-of-its-kind Ford Reality Check app using Google Daydream VR , created by Ford, Google and award-winning virtual reality studio Happy Finish.

The app brings to life the potentially fatal consequences of driving while distracted, casting users as a distracted driver picking up friends on the way to a party. Instant messages, phone calls and chatty passengers all compete for attention, sparking a series of near misses. The final distraction proves fatal due to the driver being distracted. The app’s creators hope it will help young people to develop safer driving practices.

Forza players can win the chance to drive the Focus RS on track with tuition from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver Harry Tincknell, by setting the fastest virtual lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit using the gaming pods at the Ford show stand.

Visitors also will be able to experience Tincknell’s real-world lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, using 3D virtual reality headsets, while seated in the Focus RS.

Robotics enthusiasts can try their hand at programming a “YuMi” collaborative robot to perform tasks. Ford is among first auto makers to develop a new, closely integrated approach to car workers and collaborative robots working together on the assembly line. DJ Yoda and “YuMi” recently performed a set-list of tracks from 1976 onward to celebrate Fiesta’s 40th anniversary.

Fans of LEGO will appreciate the full-size Ford Chip Ganassi LEGO racing driver. Featuring detailed Ford racing overalls and racing helmet, the LEGO driver contains 67,252 bricks; stands 1839.6 mm (6 ft) tall; weighs 61 kg (134.5 lb); and took seven LEGO builders 304 work-hours to construct.

Virtual reality beyond gaming
Virtual reality not only helps make Ford models accessible to more consumers, it helps Ford create vehicles, too.

Ford engineers use virtual reality in the development and production of vehicles, from immersive technologies that allow designers to fully experience a vehicle without the need for a physical prototype, to full-body motion capture systems that provide data on how an employee uses his or her body to move and complete tasks on the assembly line.

Experience the real thing
Ford is displaying the Ford GT race car driven by Tincknell in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Gamescom. Last year Ford made an historic return to the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race with the Ford GT race car taking victory in the LM GTE Pro class exactly 50 years after recording a 1-2-3 clean sweep at the 1966 race.

The Ford GT race car is based on the 347 km/h (216 mph) Ford GT road car – the fastest Ford production vehicle on the track ever – powered by 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost engine is SAE rated at 647 horsepower and 550 lb.-ft. of torque in U.S. specification.

The Ford Focus RS five-door hatchback – featuring a 350 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, Ford Performance All Wheel Drive and Selectable Drive Modes, and the all-new Fiesta ST-Line – featuring sporty exterior and interior styling, and sports suspension, are also on show.

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NOW YOU SEE IT, THEN YOU DIDN’T http://social.hillsford.co.uk/how-modern-lights-highlight-hazards-your-grandparents-would-have-missed/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/how-modern-lights-highlight-hazards-your-grandparents-would-have-missed/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:07:09 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=6147 HOW MODERN LIGHTS HIGHLIGHT HAZARDS YOUR GRANDPARENTS WOULD HAVE MISSED Comparison of car headlights from the past century highlights effectiveness of today’s tech Cyclist 12 metres away – once almost invisible to drivers – is clearly seen with modern lights Same night-time driving scenario simulated with six cars spanning 109 years Car lights evolve from

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HOW MODERN LIGHTS HIGHLIGHT HAZARDS YOUR GRANDPARENTS WOULD HAVE MISSED
  • Comparison of car headlights from the past century highlights effectiveness of today’s tech
  • Cyclist 12 metres away – once almost invisible to drivers – is clearly seen with modern lights
  • Same night-time driving scenario simulated with six cars spanning 109 years
  • Car lights evolve from dim gas lamps to modern bright xenon and LED beams
  • Lights now adapt to speed, surroundings. Cars can automatically brake for people at night
  • In future, more and more cars will use LED lights that help reduce driver fatigue

New car headlight technology means modern drivers really do live in an age of enlightenment, with a stark contrast between the night-time driving visibility enjoyed today and the drastically less effective headlamps their grandparents used to light the road ahead.

A series of images showing the view from cars spanning from a 1908 Ford Model T up to a new Ford Mustang shines a light on just how far headlight technology has come. The cyclist is just 12 metres ahead of each vehicle illuminating the scene.

Drivers of the Model T – more than 15 million of which were sold from 1908 to 1927 – would have to first light the acetylene lamps before hitting the road. Today’s drivers not only benefit from bright xenon and LED headlights but also from technology that can automatically brake for pedestrians. Further images show the illumination from cars of the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s and 1990s.

“In terms of lighting technology, we have come out of the dark ages,” said Michael Koherr, Ford’s lighting research engineer. “It is quite incredible what a fundamental difference these changes contribute in terms of road safety and driver comfort.”

Xenon headlights – featured on the Mustang – have around three times the output of halogen bulbs. Like the sophisticated LED headlights offered for cars including the Ford Edge SUV, xenon lights produce a bright white light that can make them appear up to five times brighter than the yellowish light of halogen bulbs.

Of course, drivers now may be travelling faster than Model T drivers. But they also benefit from significant improvements in technology that mean lighting adapts to speed and surroundings. Headlights are also now designed to gradually fade at the edge of the beam pattern, rather than stopping abruptly, allowing objects in the dark to come steadily into view rather than appearing suddenly in view.

“We have gone from what were essentially glorified candles to efficient and effective xenon and LED lights. In the future we’ll see more super-bright LED lights equipped to cars, which can actually help drivers remain alert. Visibility at night is now so much better. Like night and day,” said Koherr.

“We are now developing new spot lighting technology that helps draw the driver’s attention to pedestrians, cyclists and even large animals in the vehicle’s path. This would use an infra-red camera to locate and track people and bigger animals up to 120 metres away.”

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END OF THE ROAD FOR RED LIGHTS? http://social.hillsford.co.uk/end-of-the-road-for-red-lights/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/end-of-the-road-for-red-lights/#respond Wed, 26 Oct 2016 04:58:07 +0000 http://www.momizat.com/theme/goodnews/?p=240 END OF THE ROAD FOR RED LIGHTS? FORD TRIALS TECH TO HELP DRIVERS ‘RIDE THE GREEN WAVE’ Hitting a series of red lights on a miserable commute could become a thing of the past with the help of technology that is now being trialled with Ford cars Drivers choose recommended speed to maximise chance of

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END OF THE ROAD FOR RED LIGHTS? FORD TRIALS TECH TO HELP DRIVERS ‘RIDE THE GREEN WAVE’
  • Hitting a series of red lights on a miserable commute could become a thing of the past with the help of technology that is now being trialled with Ford cars
  • Drivers choose recommended speed to maximise chance of meeting green lights based on timing info from roadside units. UK daily drivers spend two days per year waiting at red lights
  • Ford cars also trial tech that warns when cars unseen up ahead brake hard to show benefits of connected cars for UK’s largest self‑driving and connected car trial

Imagine if you could take the kids to school, commute to work or drive across town to do some shopping without ever hitting a single red traffic light.

Technology is currently being trialled with Ford cars to make “riding the green wave” a day-to-day reality. Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory uses information on traffic light timings from a roadside unit to display to the driver the best speed to travel to get a green light.

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Ford is trialling the technology as it helps to demonstrate the benefits of connected cars for UK Autodrive – the nation’s largest self-driving and connected car trial. The 16-member, partly publicly funded £20 million project is developing and trialling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle‑to‑infrastructure technologies that could make driving less stressful and time-consuming, and improve fuel efficiency.

“There’s not much worse after a long day than to hit one red light after another on the drive home, and be forced to stop and start again at every junction,” said Christian Ress, supervisor, Driver Assist Technologies, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Enabling drivers to ‘ride the green wave’ also means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.”

Daily drivers in the UK alone spend two days each year waiting at red lights, and similar technologies already enable cyclists in Copenhagen and Amsterdam to avoid red lights. * If drivers find hitting a red light unavoidable the system displays how long until the light turns green.

The Mondeo Hybrid cars provided by Ford are also trialling Emergency Electronic Brake Lights, which warn when a vehicle up ahead suddenly brakes hard – even if the incident occurs out-of-sight – up to a distance of 500 metres.

Technologies that will be trialled next year also warn drivers when another vehicle is blocking the junction ahead; when an ambulance, police car or fire truck is approaching; and prioritises vehicles arriving at intersections without traffic signs or traffic lights.

Trials are taking place on both public roads and closed circuits in Milton Keynes and Coventry during the next two years.

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All-new B&O PLAY audio systems in Ford vehicles http://social.hillsford.co.uk/all-new-bo-play-audio-systems-in-ford-vehicles/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/all-new-bo-play-audio-systems-in-ford-vehicles/#respond Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:49:52 +0000 http://www.momizat.com/theme/goodnews/?p=17 FORD, HARMAN TO REVOLUTIONISE IN-VEHICLE AUDIO EXPERIENCES WORLDWIDE THROUGH B&O PLAY® SOUND SYSTEM Ford and HARMAN are collaborating to revolutionise the in-vehicle audio experience with B&O PLAY; the new system arrives exclusively on Ford’s global vehicle lineup starting next year B&O PLAY integration with Ford vehicles takes advantage of proprietary HARMAN technologies and tuning to

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FORD, HARMAN TO REVOLUTIONISE IN-VEHICLE AUDIO EXPERIENCES WORLDWIDE THROUGH B&O PLAY® SOUND SYSTEM
  • Ford and HARMAN are collaborating to revolutionise the in-vehicle audio experience with B&O PLAY; the new system arrives exclusively on Ford’s global vehicle lineup starting next year
  • B&O PLAY integration with Ford vehicles takes advantage of proprietary HARMAN technologies and tuning to deliver a richer, more engaging listening experience
  • To suit different customers and driving environments, the system’s signature sound is tailored specifically for every Ford model

As new car buyers say audio brands are influencing their opinions of vehicles, Ford and HARMAN are teaming up to revolutionise in-vehicle experiences through the introduction of all-new B&O PLAY audio systems in Ford vehicles worldwide.

A recent Ipsos 2016 Automotive Audio Branding study, shows roughly one-third of new car buyers say that the audio brand in their next vehicle would have a significant impact on their purchase consideration.
B&O PLAY products reimagine more than 90 years of audio heritage, with natural materials, distinctive design and high-quality audio for seamlessly integrated experiences, whether a listener is in their home, on the go, or soon, in their car.
Ford announced the exclusive collaboration with HARMAN during the automaker’s annual Further with Ford trend conference. B&O PLAY debuts in Ford vehicles globally starting next year.

B&O PLAY’s unique approach creates a customised audio experience for customers with specifically tailored speaker placement and calibration for each vehicle in the Ford range. This means dynamic tuning ensures optimal sound is maintained in the cabin no matter what driving conditions are like – and regardless of where someone sits.

To illustrate the power of sound, Ford and B&O PLAY unveiled an installation called Sound Journeys, an on-site experience that triggers the five senses.

Using B&O PLAY products, the installation brings to life three different environmental habitats – a forest, a canyon and an ocean – featuring amplified sound. The experience even “visualises” sound waves, demonstrating how sound can transform everyday spaces, creating richer, more visceral experiences for people.

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NOW VANS CAN BRAKE AUTOMATICALLY FOR PEDESTRIANS http://social.hillsford.co.uk/now-vans-can-brake-automatically-for-pedestrians/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/now-vans-can-brake-automatically-for-pedestrians/#respond Fri, 12 Aug 2016 05:06:43 +0000 http://www.momizat.com/theme/goodnews/?p=49 NOW VANS CAN BRAKE AUTOMATICALLY FOR PEDESTRIANS IF THE DRIVER DOESN’T; FORD INTRODUCES NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR TRANSIT Ford vans can now detect people in the road, and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings Pre-Collision Assist technology uses radar and camera systems to locate people in the road – and

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NOW VANS CAN BRAKE AUTOMATICALLY FOR PEDESTRIANS IF THE DRIVER DOESN’T; FORD INTRODUCES NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR TRANSIT
  • Ford vans can now detect people in the road, and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings
  • Pre-Collision Assist technology uses radar and camera systems to locate people in the road – and even those on the pavement who could stray into the vehicle’s path
  • New Ford Transit and Transit Custom commercial vehicles are the first vans of their kind with pedestrian detection capability

Pedestrians today are distracted by smartphone games, messaging, and videos when they cross the road. Now Ford is introducing technology that enables vans to detect people in the road, and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings.

First developed for passenger cars including the Ford Mondeo, Pedestrian Detection processes information from a radar located in the bumper, and a windshield-mounted camera; while a database of “pedestrian shapes” enables the system to distinguish people from roadside scenery and objects such as trees and road signs.

Now available for Transit and Transit Custom vans, Pedestrian Detection technology can even predict when people may stray from the pavement and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. It is the first time that the technology has been made available for commercial vehicles of this size.

According to official data, more than 70,000 pedestrians lost their lives on European roads between 2004 and 2013. * And Ford recently surveyed 10,000 people across Europe to better understand the issues of distracted pedestrians crossing roads – including situations when there is no official crossing. ** Most smartphone users surveyed (57 per cent) admitted using their devices when crossing the road and nearly half (47 per cent) talk on the phone.

“It only takes a split second for a delivery driver to check an address – but that can be just the moment when an unwary pedestrian steps into the street,” said Gregor Allexi, active safety engineer, Ford of Europe. “In cases like this, Pedestrian Detection technology can help to avoid an accident, or reduce its severity.”

Ford engineers have tested the system on closed circuits, using rigs fitted with life-size dummies. The development team also spent months testing and refining the system on roads in European cities packed with pedestrians such as Paris and Amsterdam to prove system reliability under real-world conditions, covering more than 10,000 kilometres of urban driving.

The emergency braking system – called Pre-Collision Assist – functions in a series of stages. If the system detects a pedestrian and determines that a collision has become imminent, the driver will first receive an audible alarm and visual warning in the instrument cluster.

Should the driver fail to respond, the system then shortens the time required to apply the brakes by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs. If there is still no response from the driver, the brakes are applied automatically and the vehicle speed is reduced.

“Advanced technologies, like Pre-Collision Assist, that were billed as future technology only a couple of years ago are now starting to make a difference on UK roads by helping drivers to react fast to the unexpected, such as a pedestrian walking out in front of them,” said Luke Bosdet, spokesman for the AA. “For delivery and other business van drivers, this is a major advance – not only in helping to prevent accidents, but also protecting drivers from incidents that were not of their making and that would disrupt business.”

Ford’s latest Transit and Transit Custom commercial vehicles featuring Pedestrian Detection are now on sale across Europe, and are powered by the all-new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBlue diesel engine, which offers improved cost of ownership and performance, with fuel consumption reduced by up to 13 per cent.

The new models benefit from further advanced technologies to enhance confidence and comfort behind the wheel including Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Side Wind Stabilisation.

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CAR WORKERS BUDDY UP WITH ROBOTS http://social.hillsford.co.uk/car-workers-buddy-robots/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/car-workers-buddy-robots/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:51:49 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=5865 CAR WORKERS BUDDY UP WITH ROBOTS – MAN AND MACHINE WORK HAND-IN-HAND AS FORD APPLIES INDUSTRY 4.0 AUTOMATION Ford is among the first auto makers to develop a new, closely integrated approach to car workers and robots working together on the assembly line Workers use collaborative robots, also known as co-bots, to help fit shock

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CAR WORKERS BUDDY UP WITH ROBOTS – MAN AND MACHINE WORK HAND-IN-HAND AS FORD APPLIES INDUSTRY 4.0 AUTOMATION
  • Ford is among the first auto makers to develop a new, closely integrated approach to car workers and robots working together on the assembly line
  • Workers use collaborative robots, also known as co-bots, to help fit shock absorbers to Fiesta cars in Cologne, Germany; ensures perfect fit, avoids workers having to access hard‑to‑reach places
  • Robots use hi-tech sensors to detect when hands or fingers are in their path and stop immediately, ensuring worker safety
  • Ford is now reviewing further use of collaborative robots, which can be programmed to do anything from making a coffee to shaking hands, and are used in pharmaceutical and electronics industries
    More than a hundred years after the first cars rolled off Henry Ford’s pioneering assembly line, Ford Motor Company is breaking new ground in the way workers and robots are collaborating to manufacture vehicles.

New collaborative robots, also known as co-bots, are first being used to help workers fit shock absorbers to Fiesta cars, a task that requires pinpoint accuracy, strength, and a high level of dexterity. Employees work hand-in-hand with the robots to ensure a perfect fit every time.

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Ford Is Developing Cars To Tackle The Worst Potholes http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-is-developing-cars-to-tackle-the-worst-potholes/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-is-developing-cars-to-tackle-the-worst-potholes/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2016 05:49:46 +0000 http://www.momizat.com/theme/goodnews/?p=40 BUMPY COMMUTE? HOW FORD IS DEVELOPING CARS TO TACKLE THE WORST POTHOLES TO SAVE DRIVERS MONEY Potholes are an increasing problem for drivers; forced to pay for costly repairs as recovery services report huge rise in pothole-related call-outs Ford test centre in Belgium replicates the effects of the worst potholes and extreme road surfaces from

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BUMPY COMMUTE? HOW FORD IS DEVELOPING CARS TO TACKLE THE WORST POTHOLES TO SAVE DRIVERS MONEY
  • Potholes are an increasing problem for drivers; forced to pay for costly repairs as recovery services report huge rise in pothole-related call-outs
  • Ford test centre in Belgium replicates the effects of the worst potholes and extreme road surfaces from around the world.
  • More than 100 punishing rough road conditions located at the Lommel Proving Ground which incorporates 50 miles of test tracks, including 1.2 miles of potholes
  • These hazards, which also include granite blocks from Belgium and French cobbles, help Ford to test and develop innovations that make cars tougher
  • Ford developing Continuous Control Damping with Pothole Mitigation technology

Potholes and other rough road surfaces can be a pricey problem for motorists around the world.

Last year the RAC responded to more than 25,000 pothole-related breakdowns in the UK – a near 25 per cent increase since 2014.* Potholes can cause tyre, wheel and suspension damage, costing up to £300 a time. The poor condition, and lack of maintenance, of European roads is said to contribute to at least one third of all accidents every year.**

Recognising the issue, Ford has created 1.2‑miles of gruelling test track that replicates some of the worst potholes and road hazards from around the world. Designed to concentrate the punishment experienced by vehicles, it helps engineers create more robust chassis systems and develop new innovations to ensure Ford vehicles can better withstand the world’s challenging roads.

The road is part of 50 miles of test tracks at Ford’s test facility in Lommel, Belgium. It incorporates potholes from Europe and the US, and simulates more than 100 hazards from 25 countries worldwide. In the past three years alone, Ford engineers’ search for scary road hazards has taken them to the UK, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and Switzerland, as well as Asia, Australia, North America, and South America.

“From a rutted traffic junction in China to a bumpy German side-street, this road is a rogues’ gallery of the most bruising surfaces that our customers might encounter,” said Eric-Jan Scharlee, durability technical specialist, at Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground, in Belgium. “By incorporating these real-world hazards into our test facilities we can develop vehicles equipped to deal with these challenging conditions.”

Engineers drive through the potholes and over surfaces as diverse as granite blocks from Belgium and cobbles from Paris, at speeds of almost 50mph. Sensors, similar to those used by seismologists studying earthquakes, record the loads and strain on the suspension system.

Ford’s obsession with making sure its cars can withstand the world’s worst roads has driven innovation.  For example, Ford is developing Continuous Control Damping with Pothole Mitigation technology. The technology adjusts the suspension if it detects that a wheel has dropped into a pothole, helping protect the suspension from damage. Ford’s Tyre Pressure Monitoring System alerts drivers to punctures, and Electronic Stability Control can help drivers maintain control of their vehicle when avoiding obstacles.

All Ford vehicles for Europe are tested at Lommel, where Ford engineers and test drivers cover more than 3.7 million miles every year. For example, the all-new Transit was driven over the course more than 5,000 times as part of a testing regime designed to simulate 10 years of driver use in just six months. Test facilities also include a high-speed circuit, salt- and mud-baths and corrosion testing in high-humidity chambers. Prototype vehicles also are driven worldwide in temperatures ranging from -40 deg C to 40 deg C.

“Analysing data inputs during vehicle testing has enabled Ford to develop a range of advanced driver aids and design modifications to help continually improve the safety and robustness of our vehicles,” Scharlee said.

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Ford Sync 3 Comes To Europe http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-sync-3-comes-to-europe/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-sync-3-comes-to-europe/#respond Sat, 17 May 2014 09:47:36 +0000 http://www.momizat.com/theme/goodnews/?p=123 The post Ford Sync 3 Comes To Europe appeared first on Hills Social.

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