With Ford selling the all-new Focus in 120 countries, the American carmaker had to design a car that could accommodate different sizes of motorists from all over the world.
To do this, Ford used data gathered via 3D body scans carried out on a large range of ages and races to make sure anyone will find the Focus comfortable enough.
"We use a global database that gives accurate size ranges of drivers in different parts of the world," said Ralph Gesang, Ford's driving environment supervisor. "It shows not only heights but also the different types of body statures. This information helped us to ensure that more than 97 percent of the world's adult population can sit comfortably in the new Focus."
The database includes some of the most up-to-date anthropometric information--data collected from measuring human beings for the purpose of understanding physical variation--with cross-sections of adults scanned by laser from head to toe. This made it possible to create computerized 3D models of people from around the world with accurate dimensions including height, waist circumference, hip width and leg length. This information allowed Ford's engineers to make detailed virtual studies of the Focus' interior design, looking at the space, comfort and safety of driver and passengers.
"The latest 3D body data directly influenced the development of the seat travel, the cushion shape and the adjustment range of the steering wheel and foot pedals," said Ralf Nürnberg, Ford's attribute leader for occupant accommodation. "Back seat head and leg room also were influenced when we visualised the 3D human models in our computer simulations of the new Focus. As well as the broad regional variations, the latest 3D body data also reflects the fact that, on average, the global population is getting taller and heavier, and the new Focus interior takes account of this trend."
The overall result is a new Ford Focus that combines a stylish, aerodynamic exterior design with a highly competitive interior space. By considering the greater range of shapes and sizes of the global customer base, Ford's engineers worked to ensure that, no matter where in the world it's sold, the new Focus is a good fit for customers.