The digital world plays an increasingly important role in car design, not only for the many technologies – such as virtual reality – applied to the development of solutions and components. And digital games in recent years have come so close to the level of realism of professional simulations that it is possible to integrate the engineering experience with that of the gamers, obtaining important indications for future products. Ford has decided to consolidate this relationship by first creating its own official team of video drivers, called Team Fordzilla, and then involving the entire gamer community in the creation of its first virtual racing car.
The “TeamFordzillaP1” project is coordinated by Amko Leenarts, Ford Europe Design Director, according to whom “the distinction between real and virtual worlds has become blurred. Gaming is now part of the traditional culture. The best gamers challenge professional drivers in real life and many of our daily activities are “gamified”, from the use of fitness apps to collecting loyalty points. Leveraging the passion and experience of the gaming community will help us to evolve our thinking about what travels will be like in the future”.
The project will not stem from any existing car and will focus on reinterpreting Ford’s humancentric philosophy. Despite the increasing process integration, however, the creation of a virtual vehicle and a real one still remain very different experiences, as Leenarts himself reiterated in a live chat on Instagram: “What is missing most in a totally virtual design is to see the form become solid, to be able to touch it, to develop it according to the materials and to solve the problems that arise”.