Surrounded & Astounded Ford can now share its racing efforts and more in virtual reality By Steve Turner Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Ford Motor Company Have you ever wished you could be at a race thousands of miles away. Better yet, have you ever imagined that you could experience a race from the perspective of the driver. Let’s say you could tag along with the Ford GT at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Well, that’s just the kind of experience Ford Performance’s new Virtual Reality smartphone app will deliver. “We are very excited about this opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences that showcase the best of Ford Motor Company,” Lisa Schoder, Ford digital marketing manager, said. “Our virtual reality platform allows us to tell dramatic, impactful stories, to show a surprising side of Ford.” The app officially launches today and the first piece of virtual storytelling it offers is a look at that successful Ford GT racing effort. For a sample of what the 360-degree Ford GT experience is like, you can watch this video… [video=youtube;8sla9kSxO8I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sla9kSxO8I [/video] “Just as Ford GT goes beyond the traditional at Ford, our entry into virtual reality content creation demonstrates how our passion for innovation permeates every piece of our business and offers a new touch point for tech-savvy consumers to connect with our brand,” Lisa said. To develop this technology, Ford called on Tool of North America, an integrated production company specializing in 360-degree content and mobile apps. “As an auto and racing enthusiast, I was inspired by the opportunity and the challenge of helping the iconic Ford brand make its virtual reality debut,” Erich Joiner, director and founder, Tool of North America, said. “For the innovative Ford GT, I wanted to create something that gives people an exciting virtual reality experience beyond the traditional. I wanted to use the immersive technology not only to transport them to a new place, but to take them where only a special few from the Ford racing team typically go—inside the famed track at Le Mans.” The next thing vehicle can experience via this app is Ken Block’s Focus RS RX, which we recently covered at its North American debut in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. However, Ford plans to look beyond telling just automotive stories via this medium. “On top of sharing virtual reality stories about our innovative products, we are also looking to bring mobility issues to the forefront,” Lisa added. “As we expand our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, we are pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility.” The Ford VR app is available for both Android and iOS devices right now and the best way to experience it is with a headset. Would you like to experience Ford Performance vehicles from the perspective of the drivers. The new Ford VR app can deliver that experience and more to your smartphone. To maximize your VR experience you will want to place your phone in a VR headset like this cardboard unit.