Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal with Oculus Technologies, a Boston-based startup, to use that company's peer-to-peer technology as a way to produce more fuel-efficient cars.
Ford will use Oculus CO to better connect design teams located in multiple sites that are using different operating systems and applications. Company officials chose Oculus because they believe it provides a vendor-neutral environment that will better contribute to improving their design processes.
With the help of the new technology, Ford officials project that the technology will save them between US$5 million to $15 million per vehicle design program, said John Goodman, fuel economy implementation manager at Ford.
"We think in the future, CO could have a tremendous impact on our entire automobile design process," Goodman said.
With product life cycles decreasing, while product design and development processes become more sophisticated for many companies, product design teams tend to use more function-specific applications and are sharing more data with partners and suppliers, Oculus officials said.
They believe many of these issues can be addressed through a secure p-to-p platform that allows design teams to communicate and work transparently across the extended enterprise.
"We think a technology like this can help Ford and others explore more solutions faster, which should result in rapid design iterations across an extended enterprise," said Chris Williams, president and CEO of Oculus.