Date: July 10, 2013
Elizabeth Baron — Ford Motor Company

The Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) applies a variety of real-time, advanced visualization technologies to allow efficient, quick and effective evaluations of vehicle design proposals. Ford is using virtual and augmented reality in a unique and amazing way to simulate a multitude of customer perspectives very early in the development process. Their approach is different…it combines the best of what the virtual and physical worlds have to offer.

How did Ford get there? Elizabeth will explain how the need for FiVE was fulfilled, the importance of quantifying the vehicle-owner subjective relationship, and the consideration of human-machine interaction. She will explain the totally awesome VR systems used at Ford and the successes and challenges of virtual reviews. She will relay the practical (and impractical) principles Ford employs regarding conducting virtual assessments, as well as the types of assessments that are used in vehicle development and engineering. Elizabeth will detail how Ford quantifies the emotional connection between you and your car. And she will also provide insight on where gaps exist in the current suite of VR tools, and thoughts on the future of human/computer interaction for vehicle engineering and design.

About the Speaker
Elizabeth Baron is a Technical Specialist in Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization at Ford Motor Company. She manages the Ford immersive Vehicle Evaluation (FiVE) Lab in Product Development, and provides immersive virtual reality evaluation systems used for industrial design and product development. She develops and deploys highly realistic immersive systems that address the unique challenges of automotive design, engineering and ergonomics. She has led the development of immersive VR systems that satisfy evaluation criteria for engineering, ergonomics and aesthetic design to allow different disciplines in product development to communicate in a common environment.

Elizabeth began her career at Ford in 1988 working as a software developer for Ford’s product design software, later specializing in visualization and solid modeling software. She received her BS in Industrial Technology and Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University. She is also a qualified Six Sigma Academy Black Belt. She is a member of the Human Motion Simulation Consortium at the University of Michigan, the Society of Automotive Engineers, IEEE and ACM.

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Immersive Environments and Advanced Visualization Technologies for Testing New Car Designs from CHIFOO Communications on Vimeo.