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Ford Uses Virtual Reality to Show Pre-Collision Assist

March 07, 2018

Photo by Roselynne Reyes.
Photo by Roselynne Reyes.

Attendees of the 2018 Work Truck Show can experience Ford Motor Co.’s new Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, which is now standard on 2019 Transit Connect compact vans.

Via a one and a half minute virtual reality (VR), show attendees have the opportunity to not only see the dangers of distracted driving, but get a feel of how the vehicle will feel when Pre-Collision Assist is activated.

“It’s hard to get that full experience as a driver at a trade show,” said Julie Ellenberger, a Ford brand manager. “We wanted to create this new virtual reality experience to really help people understand how the feature works and how it could help them in their everyday lives.”

If the system detects an impending collision, a warning light will appear on the instrument cluster and an audible alert will sound. If the driver does not respond to the alerts by stepping on the brakes, the brakes will precharge and automatically apply themselves if needed.

The feature has already been programmed on to select vehicles, such as Ford passenger wagons revealed at the Chicago Auto Show in February. Ellenberger says that response to the feature has been very positive.

“We’re really excited because this is one of the biggest asks from our fleet customers,” she said. “We knew that this was a feature that not only our fleet customers wanted but all of our customers would benefit from and that’s why we really pushed to make it a standard feature.”

For attendees at the Work Truck Show, Ford’s booth features three cargo vans with different configurations and upfits. The VR experience allows consumers to get a feel for the interior of the vehicle from the driver seat. Sights and sounds of driving through a city environment eventually lead to a distraction, causing the driver to not see on obstacle on the road ahead. At this point, the Pre-Collision Assist kicks in, stopping the vehicle.

To actually experience the vehicle stopping on its own, helps to give people that peace of mind,” Ellenberger said. “The more and more vehicles that have this feature, the better off we’re all going to be.”

Ford’s VR experience can be found at Booth #3239 at the Work Truck Show 2018 in Indianapolis.

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