Ford uses neuroscience in motor vehicle customer research

Posted on 24 Mar 2015 by Matthew Buckley

Ford is researching the impact its car interiors have on people by measuring the particular biological functions of test subjects while they explore a cars interior.

Ford believes the visual appeal of a car’s interior plays an important role in the customer’s decision to purchase the vehicle and is using the new research to identify ways to make its vehicles more aesthetically-appealing to customers.

The company has undertaken data collection of brain wave patterns and eye-tracking of people seeing the interior of its cars for the first time.

The data collected will be used to guide the company’s design team to make the vehicle’s interiors as appealing to customers as possible.

“Vehicle interiors have witnessed one of the biggest evolutions across the history of cars in recent years,” said Vice President of Global Product Development at Ford Motor Company Raj Nair.

“Not only have we introduced a great deal of useful new technology in our cars and trucks, we consistently are adding better materials, improved design and increased features across the board, from high-end vehicles to entry-level segments.

“All of this leads to a focus on design languages that not only convey the right messages but deliver on an enhanced user experience.”

Research will be a gradual process with peoples’ reactions to colour, materials, and other features tested throughout the design process.

This is not the first time Ford has engaged in this type of research, having used similar testing to help design its new Ford GT.

The main components of its interior were identified, and then its design evolved as new ideas and solutions were introduced.

The three principles of Ford GT’s interior design are: clarity of intent, innovation, and connection with the driver.

“Over the past few years, we have gained some momentum with our designs,” said vice president of design at Ford, Moray Callum.

“As we move forward, we need to build on and evolve what we have achieved so far to continue to deliver exciting and fresh solutions.

“The interior design of the Ford GT builds on existing DNA and pushes it forward.”

Ford is not the only motor company to use biometric and neroscience research, with Volvo having done similar testing in 2013.

In November of that year, Volvo tested the brain wave patterns of test subjects to see how they responded to particular images.

Wearing EEG headsets, people were shown images, including smiling babies, beautiful women, and cars to test their emotional response to each image.

The test found that 75% of the males in the study showed a greater emotional response to cars than to children or beautiful women.