Within a development organization called Ford Alpha Simultaneous Engineering there is an evaluation of VR for automotive assembly taking place. According to Jim Merner, manager of the VR project, they are evaluating process installation feasibility. The vehicle parts are represented in a CAD system. The CAD file is transferred to the system with the VR equipment. A user then manipulates the virtual part and attempts to assemble it into the virtual vehicle.
The equipment used for the VR experiments are a VPL eyephone and dataglove running of a Silicon Graphics computer. The user puts all the equipment on and attempts the part insertion. The system check for interference and collision between the part and the vehicle. The hope is to use the VR setup to evaluate the human ergonomics of various assembly operations. Eventually they hope to place some more motion trackers on the person to evaluate how much bending and stooping is necessary to complete the assembly.