“Very simply, this is how we need to operate going forward,” Mathieson says. “The auto industry –and it’s true of many other sectors as well – will have to embrace a lot of change, and a lot of that will be focused around technology and culture. This has been a fantastic example of what can be achieved if you get rid of all the normal obstacles, have a clear, laser-sharp focus on the objective, and then people just come together to make it happen.
“Remote working has really come to the fore, and now companies are looking at the future and thinking ‘what space do we need and how do we operate our teams’.”
Hoare believes HoloLens will continue to have a major impact at Ford.
“When you use technology like HoloLens, all of a sudden the rest of your world starts to change shape,” he says. “We can certainly think of applications for the headset in the automotive world. This technology will set us free, reducing our carbon footprint through reducing the amount our staff have to travel. When we need an answer to a very specific problem, we often end up saying, ‘We need Fred on the plane’, and Fred will fly from Asia to the UK to help solve the problem. Then we realise it actually wasn’t Fred we needed, it was Barry who has the skills we need, so he flies over on a plane. There is tremendous potential for HoloLens there.
“It will be one of the memories I take away from the consortium: how the right tools in the right hands with the right need makes all the difference.”