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Ford 'virtual' design studio

Ford is installing a 'virtual reality' design facility at its Dunton studio in Essex. The SGI Reality Centre enables its designers and engineers to project full-size images of new vehicle designs.

"The new Reality Centre will help Ford engineers to improve the timing, accuracy and quality of vehicle exterior and interior design," said Chris Bird, Ford of Europe's design director.

Developed by SGI, the Reality Centre will add to Ford's existing portfolio of SGI technology, which includes three additional Reality Centre facilities in the United States and one at Ford's Merkenich Design Studio near Cologne. The Dunton centre will allow greater collaboration in vehicle design between Ford engineers based in Britain and Germany.

A network connection between the two centres will enable greater use of integrated video conferencing and an increased sharing of data that will help speed up product development processes.

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