From the platform to the powertrain, the entire upcoming crossover is new. In the past, Ford would have had to ship mechanics and a fleet of Mach-Es to various training centers scattered across the United States. VR eliminates this costly, time-consuming task by giving mechanics access to an interactive digital repair manual.
"This new training tool allows technicians to understand the components and steps required to service these high-voltage systems, then confidently perform diagnostics and maintenance," said Dave Johnson, the director of Ford's service engineering operations, in a statement.
Trainees will notably learn how to remove, service, and install the main battery pack. Looking ahead, Bosch is developing game-like software extensions that will let technicians explore the Mach-E's different modules one by one. It's quicker than going through a paper-based training course, though there's ultimately no replacement for hands-on experience, and it's more practical because a mechanic can theoretically explore the Mach-E's high-voltage inner trappings from anywhere in the world. All that's needed is an Oculus Quest VR headset.
Bosch developed this forward-thinking training solution in 2019, and Ford is the first automaker to integrate it into a powertrain repair course for technicians. While it will initially be used only to teach mechanics about the Mustang Mach-E, Ford hasn't ruled out applying it to other model lines in the coming years. It'd be just as useful on, say, the next-generation F-150 expected to arrive in time for the 2021 model year.