Ford Truck Is Using Virtual Reality
Typically, car companies bring their pickup trucks into the Arizona mountains to test pain tolerance. Ford is now bringing the mountains without having to go to the Arizona mountains.
It’s a pretty basic concept, a trailer hooks onto a pickup truck which is then computer programmed to be able to replicate different types of resistance, showing what it would be like for the truck in tough working conditions.
Essentially, it’s a virtual reality experience for Ford’s F-250 truck and most likely other companies have used this type of technology before too. However, the Super Duty went past the typical testing. Jim Sumner, Ford product development engineer, said, “In more than 25 years of doing this work, we used the same dyno, which did the job, but the new truck is so powerful we needed new equipment to test out its capability.”
This truck is currently being redesigned by utilizing aluminum. This new “test sled” is able to place 181 percent more drag on the truck that it’s connected to as compared to the previous unit Ford utilized. This “test sled” can also steep up to a 30 percent uphill grade.
Ford said that the trailer essentially is able to work by running energized electrical coils that work like a huge magnet. That in turn create 5,260 pounds of a pulling force on the drawbar of the truck which makes it feel like the same conditions of a climb under load.
The company plans to continue certifying their vehicles at locations such as Davis Dam, which is a part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard for confirming the maximum towing capacity.
The standard is known as SAE J2807 and is a buzz topic that generates frustration in the world of trucking.
It will be exciting to see how the Super Duty truck does in the real world, but this development of the high-tech virtual sled is quite interesting as well.