If you think Forza or Gran Turismo epitomize realistic driving simulators, then you probably don’t realize what auto makers have at their disposal to virtually simulate their own vehicles. Case in point: Ford recently finished upgrades to it Virtual Test Track Experiment (VIRTTEX) simulator, which is designed to assist in the development and testing of new safety systems as well as driver awareness aids. The simulator has been in use with the company since 2001.
The upgrades consisted of updates to the visual software to provide a high-resolution 360-degree horizontal field-of-view. Enhanced software will also improve the data-gathering capability of Ford research and development. All of this comes on the heels of the 2013 Ford Fusion, which contains new features like the Lane Keeping System that was designed and developed inside VIRTTEX.
Ford says its proud to be the only North American automaker with a simulator this advanced. Though The Blue Oval certainly isn’t the only automaker to use this technology currently. Simulators are becoming more important as safety standards become ever more stringent. They also help cut cost by allowing engineers to develop and test new safety features without building expensive test mules.