Ford Virtual Reality Centre: a quick hands-on tour

The other week Ford gave Between the Axles a tour of its renovated design facilities in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, the highlight of which was the Virtual Reality Centre where the company tests cars that it’s designing for usability.

Housed in an unassuming L-shaped roof near the design centre’s main entrance, the Virtual Reality Centre features 16 Vicon Bonita motion tracking cameras that monitor reflective markers placed on top of two NVIS virtual reality headsets and two pairs of gloves.

There are three local, almost off-the-shelf, PCs powering the setup. They pack Nvidia Quadro 6000 graphics cards, Intel Xenon X5690 CPUs and have a combined memory total of 48GB. They churn away to turn CAD data into rather life-like images for the two people wearing the VR headsets.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]