Digital Occupant: Personal Immersion for Subjective Evaluations of a Vehicle 2000-01-2154
Ford’s use of digital mockups in vehicle design has improved the package and fit of components and systems within the vehicle. However, to fully meet and exceed the consumer’s expectations of a vehicle it is crucial to make subjective evaluations of a vehicle’s comfort, convenience, visibility, and accessibility early in the design process. Efficient and nimble design requires an understanding of the subjective qualities of the vehicle before any physical prototypes exist. The Digital Occupant personally immerses an individual (e.g. member of the design team, market researcher or consumer) within the digital mockup earlier to facilitate these subjective evaluations.
This paper describes the technologies and emerging methodologies integrated to produce the Digital Occupant. This personally immersive simulation includes a full body real-time dynamic digital representation of the individual being immersed. The designer/engineer is immersed so they can experience the consumer/vehicle interface from their own perspective, or another’s perspective (such as a small female or a large male). This simulation methodology affords designers and engineers the understanding to better accommodate our diverse consumer population.