Ford Merging VR with Reality in its FiVE Lab

With virtual realities (VR) unique ability to allow researchers an immersive engagement with a project, more companies are using the technology. The Ford motor company has endeavoured to be at the cutting edge of vehicle technology, and with its Ford’s immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) Lab, it’s using VR to continue to do so.

The FiVE Lab, which is led by Elizabeth Baron, Ford Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization technical specialist, allows the company to virtually test in ultra-high definition thousands of product design details under simulated conditions. Another benefit the Lab offers is the opportunity for collaboration betweens Ford’s global team of designers and engineers on products in real-time for the purpose of improving products and the experience for consumers.


Part of FiVE Labs software is provided by Autodesk VRED and its 3D visualization software. Ford has been recognized as the Autodesk Inventing the Future recipient for September and recently interviewed Baron. Baron said about the work carried out in the FiVE Labs: “We create a virtual vehicle that represents a holistic view of our product at any phase of development, then we allow our designers and engineers, our ergonomists, our mechanical engineers and anyone with a specific function or responsibility in the vehicle to check it out and assess the state of design at any point in the product development process.”

“This means we can test hundreds of design alternatives within one review. This was unheard of prior to doing assessments virtually. We can test 20 different alternatives for one design and 20 different alternatives for another design, put them all in different driving and environmental conditions,” she adds.

VRFocus will continue to report on all aspects of VR and its implementation by companies across the globe.