Ford to show off 2021 F-150 with augmented reality software

Marketing

DETROIT — No auto show? No problem.

The coronavirus pandemic is prohibiting consumers from getting an in-person look at Ford Motor Co.’s newest vehicles through elaborate show displays, so the automaker decided to take one product directly to their homes.

Ford on Thursday announced an augmented reality feature called “driveway dealership.” It allows users to view a life-size virtual image of a 2021 F-150 pickup in their driveway or inside their home for a virtual walk-around. Would-be buyers also can explore the cabin with 360-degree interior views.

Users can access the feature by scanning a QR code with their smartphone cameras at f150inyourdriveway.com.

Ford is no stranger to augmented reality.

The automaker for years has been dabbling with the technology as a way to help its product development and design teams.

Ford announced a partnership this year with automotive supplier Robert Bosch that will use virtual reality to teach service technicians at dealerships how to work on the upcoming Mustang Mach-E electric crossover.

Ford’s luxury brand, Lincoln, lets customers book a virtual walk-around at a dealership through an experience called Lincoln Showcase.

While Ford plans to launch other new products in the coming months, including the Mach-E and Bronco Sport crossover, a spokeswoman said the “driveway dealership” feature is specific to the F-150.

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