Ford-Werke GmbH

Ford and DERA Announce Joint Technology Venture

London (ots-PRNewswire) - Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) today have agreed to announce a joint venture aimed at accelerating the vehicle design process and improving quality. The joint venture, Holographic Imaging LLC, is a research and development company formed to create a three-dimensional, interactive imaging workstation prototype. The new technology has the potential to save Ford millions of dollars in design and development costs for new vehicle platforms, while also bringing new products to consumers faster. The technology, under development by DERA, will be used by Ford to create full-scale virtual digital models of prototype vehicles. The joint venture will streamline Ford's vehicle design processes by reducing the reliance on hard models, give Ford the ability to redesign features in real time and the capability to hold multiple design reviews simultaneously. "The new company's focus is to develop a three-dimensional design tool which can be used to accelerate and simplify Ford's product development and design processes," said Neil Ressler, vice president, Research and Vehicle Technology and chief technical officer, Ford Motor Company. "DERA's long history of innovation as the largest R&D organization in Western Europe, including the development of proprietary liquid crystal display and flat screen display technology, makes this partnership a revolutionary step by Ford." The joint venture also will have the potential to tap into other business and growth opportunities, such as participating in attractive new businesses in automotive and non-automotive fields as a licensor or equity partner. These include applying the technology to other fields such as aerospace, entertainment, medical imaging, oil and gas industry, industrial design and marketing. The technology may have important defense applications, too, for example in command and control, exercise planning, product design and simulators. The UK Ministry of Defence will retain use of the technology for British military purposes. "DERA's three-dimensional imaging technology leads the world in futuristic imaging techniques and promises major changes in design processes and other similar applications," said David Steeds, director, Corporate Development, DERA. "A substantial amount of Intellectual Property has been developed since we started working closely together and the JV will allow DERA and Ford to develop this valuable IP to its full potential." "This three-dimensional imaging technology allows for much earlier review of proportion and stance, gives us the ability to look at multiple solutions and modify them in real time by just moving our hands in space, and provides relatively quick means to assess and improve our craftsmanship quality," said J Mays, vice president, Design, Ford Motor Company. "Imagine being able to project a three-dimensional instrument panel in full-scale and view it from behind the wheel or the passenger seat and obtain customer feedback months earlier than we can get today. This will be possible with this technology." Ford has been collaborating with DERA on research into interactive three-dimensional holography since 1997. A system based on this technology will enable true, three-dimensional virtual models of vehicles, components and fully interactive systems that can be used by design, engineering and marketing staffs. Jaguar began working with DERA in 1996 on night vision systems. Both Ford and DERA will retain equal stakes in the new company, while they continue to explore joint commercialization opportunities with other companies. The new company will be based in the U.S. Terms were not disclosed and the transaction is subject to completion of definitive agreements. About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company is the world's largest producer of trucks and the second-largest producer of cars and trucks combined, marketing and selling more than seven million vehicles globally through its eight brands. Ford employs approximately 335,000 people in plants, offices and laboratories to serve consumers in more than 200 countries and territories. About DERA DERA (Defence Evaluation and Research Agency) is an agency of the UK Ministry of Defence, incorporating the bulk of the UK Ministry of Defence's non-nuclear research, technology and test and evaluation establishments. DERA is one of Europe's largest research organizations and employs 12,000 people, many of them leading scientists and internationally acclaimed experts. DERA's pioneering research and development this century includes the invention of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), carbon fibre, the technology for flat panel speakers, infra-red sensors and microwave radar, as well as Chobham armour, and shaped charges. Ford news releases and high-resolution photographs are available on the Ford Motor Company media Web site (http://media.ford.com ). Also refer to DERA's web pages at www.dera.gov.uk ots Original Text Service: Ford Motor Company; DERA Internet: http://recherche.newsaktuell.de Contact: Joanna Sale of DERA, +44-1252-392809; or John Gardiner of Ford Motor Company Britain, +44-1277-253265; or Kristen Kinley of Ford Motor Company U.S., +1-313-390-1759, or Ford Media Information Center, +1-800-665-1515, or +1-313-621-0504, or media@ford.com Web site: http:/www.dera.gov.uk Web site: http://media.ford.com Web site: http://www.ford.com Original-Content von: Ford-Werke GmbH, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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