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Ford's virtual engineering receives Quantum3D aid

Posted: 30 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:virtual engineering Ford? visual computing solution? VIRTTEX Independence IDX 4000?

Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) real-time visual computing solutions provider Quantum3D Inc. is helping Ford Motor Co. in virtual engineering and safety. Quantum3D has upgraded Ford's VIRtual Test Track EXperiment (VIRTTEX) driving simulator with the latest computing and simulation technologies to help improve vehicle safety. Ford is said to be testing new, active crash avoidance technologies.

Ford Motor has upgraded the image generator (IG) in its VIRTTEX Simulator to

Quantum3D's highest-end solution, Independence IDX 4000. Located at Ford's Research and

Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan, VIRTTEX is the auto industry's only full-motion driving simulator in North America. VIRTTEX has been operational since 2001 and continues to be a critical tool in Ford's ongoing effort to understand better the complexities of driver distraction.

The Independence features NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 Graphics Subsystems configured in a unique system-level, parallel-rendering architecture. This configuration enables Ford to take advantage of the system's advanced features, including anisotropic filtering for more realistic road surfaces, shader-based rendering for enhanced lighting effects and Boston Dynamics DI-Guy for realistic human simulation.

Additionally, the technology insertion provides Ford with the use of open standards, such as the Common IG Interface [CIGI] standard for host interfaces and gigabit Ethernet. The CIGI standard made the upgrade seamless to other components of simulator architecture, obviating the need for programming to enable communication between the image generator and the VIRTTEX Simulator.

"VIRTTEX leads the way in the study of the interaction between car and driver, and it's a great example of how real-time visual simulation can save lives," said Brian Overy, VP of Sales at

Quantum3D. "Upgrading to Independence IDX 4000 will allow Ford to conduct more detailed and precise virtual-environment experiments that will benefit the driving public while saving the expense and danger of test-track experimentation."

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