Developed by FCA in partnership with an innovation company from the Campinas Technology Center, the simulator creates an environment that seeks to realistically represent varied driving conditions. The daily traffic interactions are reproduced, such as cars overtaking and pedestrians, all synchronized to vehicle signals such as acceleration and braking using Artificial Intelligence. The modular platform allows for quick replacement of components from either Fiat, Jeep or RAM. “We stand behind the mirrored room, assessing people's reaction to certain inputs. Feedback from what works and gaps in user experience occur in real time”, says Alvarenga. A Virtual Reality simulator, useful for experimenting on internal and external final touches, such as colors and textures, is also part of the UX Lab. The tool is widely used in the early design phase, for testing, before building the physical models. In a universe of possibilities of lines, colors, shapes and surfaces, the feature allows creativity to happen in multiple combinations.
The new Design Center also has the Virtual Room which features a special laser projector, the result of an investment of over R$ 1 million. The new equipment is capable of designing the vehicle in its actual size with specific high resolution details, which allows for very accurate assessments. And, because design is constantly evolving, FCA already foresees more investments in the area for the coming years in Latin America. According to Peter Fassbender, a new wave of investment is expected in the coming years for the construction of a second building, next to the current one, to house machining equipment, 3D printer, and other spaces. "What we create here is something that we hope people will treasure. It changes lives", concludes Gilles.