Bosch and Ford are employing a new virtual reality tool to train technicians on the car manufacturer’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E — training that doesn’t require the actual physical car.
“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,” said Dave Johnson, director of Ford service engineering operations. “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.”
Technicians can learn to diagnose and perform service on the vehicle’s high-voltage system wearing the VR headset. This includes tasks such as removal and installation of the main battery as well as service and maintenance on the battery pack itself, the company said.
Bosch is making use of an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset from Facebook as part of the training tool.
Mustang Mach-E will be available in both Standard Range (75.7 kWh lithium-ion battery) and Extended Range (98.8 kWh battery) that has a targeted EPA-estimated range of at least 300 miles range with its rear-wheel drive configuration, according to Ford. Ford has more than 2,100 EV certified Ford dealers and more than 3,500 EV trained technicians to support customers nationwide, the company says.
“The virtual reality training solution is about new technology that builds efficiency,” said Geoff Mee, director of operations for Bosch. “By improving the diagnostic process, technicians are able to perform maintenance and make repairs faster and more easily.”
Bosch developed a proof of concept in 2019 for automotive service training via virtual reality, then market tested it with instructors, technicians and college students. Ford Motor Company is the first automaker to pilot the application in its service technician powertrain repair course, specifically with the all-new Mustang Mach-E, the company’s first all-electric SUV. Ford could expand the technology to train on additional vehicles in the future.
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