Ford and Bosch train Mustang Mach-E technicians in VR

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The VR training solution uses the Oculus Quest headset, with Ford and Bosch working with Oculus for Business and PIXO VR to deliver the programme for trainee technicians

Quick read

➨ Bosch developed the proof of concept for the automotive service training solution in 2019
➨ Following testing with instructors, technicians and college students. Ford became the first automotive manufacturer to pilot the solution in its service technician powertrain repair course
➨ The solution enables a technician to learn how to diagnose and perform servicing of the vehicle’s high-voltage system

The story

Ford has partnered with Bosch, Oculus for Business and PIXO VR to develop a VR training solution that will initially teach the automotive manufacturer’s technicians how to diagnose, service and maintain the new all-electric Mustang Mach-E.

Bosch—whose automotive solutions range from factory automation to parts, diagnostics and services, an area strengthened in 2012 with the $1.15 billion acquisition of Michigan-based SPX Solutions—developed the proof of concept for the automotive service training solution in 2019.

Following testing with instructors, technicians and college students. Ford has become the first automotive manufacturer to pilot the solution in its service technician powertrain repair course, specifically with the all-new Mustang Mach-E, its all-electric SUV.

The VR training solution uses the Oculus Quest headset. Ford and Bosch are working with Oculus for Business to manage its headsets deployed to the Ford technician training programme, as well as with Michigan-based VR training developer PIXO VR, whose VR content distribution platform is being utilised for iterating and scaling capabilities.

The VR training solution enables a technician to learn how to diagnose and perform servicing of the vehicle’s high-voltage system. Tasks include removal and installation of the main battery as well as service and maintenance on the battery pack itself.

Bosch is also developing future extensions that will allow technicians to enter the vehicle and navigate through modules, which Ford said will help them determine problems that need to be overcome to carry out effective repairs.

With the VR training solution initially focusing on the Mustang Mach-E, Ford said it could expand the technology to train on additional vehicles in the future.

Commenting on the effectiveness of VR as a training platform, Dave Johnson, director of Ford service engineering operations, said: “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.”

“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.”

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

Image: The Ford Mustang Mach-E