Last year when I went out to Dearborn, MI, we saw a lot with virtualization. A mock-up car where you put on the gloves and glasses, then saw yourself move around in that virtual world. However, Ford has taken it to a new level – by simply watching how Hollywood does it. More to the point – the movie Avatar.
In this area, we look at how a person gets into and out of a car. They can go from a compact, to a heavy duty cab. The frame and bucket seats will re-adjust for the next vehicle.
It’s called HOPS – Human Occupant Package Simulator. It not only can record a driver getting in and out, but also a passenger.
Using the motion capture suit, the subject will get into and out of the car. The motion capture cameras will document their movements and show the results on the computer. If diffcult to exit, the animation will show that.
“We have 14 infrared cameras, the same that motion pictures use,” she states. “You can see we capture all the markers on how he gets in and out of the car.”
They use different size people to see how their feet, head and body. After all – you don’t want someone to trip out of the car or hit their head on the hood. They generate a full database for future use.
“Some people will go in butt first, some will go in head first.”
Before computer analysis, they used to make mock-up cars and have people get in and out to get data. They allow the user to make the motions they normally would – adjust seats, wheel and more.
A very interesting demonstration. There was another in the room that talked about the comfort of the chairs and what Ford does to increase the pleasant ride. The video, unfortunately, was cut short due to a dying battery.