Ford of Europe Brought the Virtual Fordzilla P1 to Life

In August 2020, Ford of Europe unveiled the Fordzilla P1, a virtual concept car that would feature in a racing video game in 2021. The company also shared its plans to produce a full-scale model of the vehicle to explore the parallels between the real and virtual worlds.

Ford of Europe - Fordzilla P1The real-life, full-scale model of the futuristic vehicle was recently presented by Ford. While it’s quite common for video game developers to transfer real cars into computer games, this is the first time ever an automaker has brought a virtual automobile to life, and the result is mind-blowing.

Engelmann and Ariño Created an Automotive Masterpiece

Officially known as the Team Fordzilla P1, this race car features an interior designed by Robert Engelmann and an exterior envisioned by Arturo Ariño, two of Ford’s most prominent automobile designers.

Team Fordzilla Logo The vehicle is built around a monocoque that is partially covered by a large, hyper-transparent canopy designed to protect both the pilot and co-pilot. The canopy highlights the car’s unique F1-like driving position and obfuscates the boundaries between the interior and exterior.

The Fordzilla P1 Is Designed to Heighten the Thrill of Racing

In the cockpit, drivers will find LED notification panels that offer updates on the track status in their peripheral view. The steering wheel has an integrated screen that enables live data transfers with the pit team. Engelmann designed the interior to help the pilots minimize any distractions and focus on the enjoyment of racing.

The New Fordzilla P1 The exterior of the Fordzilla P1 is an amalgamation between a sleek GT-like front end and an exposed rear end that pays homage to aerodynamics and the rawness of racing circuits. The flawlessly sculpted front fenders and body side panels add a perfect finishing touch to this absolute head-turner.

The car is 186.25 inches long, 78.7 inches wide, and 35 inches tall. It sits on 21-inch tires and is slightly longer, narrower, and lower than Ford’s current GT, which is why many automotive experts believe that it will be used as the base for the company’s next Grand Tourer.

NASA-Influenced Cell-Signal Booster Is to Hit the Market Next Year

Wonder gadgets actually are ruling the century. And when it comes to mundane necessities like a phone or a laptop, the importance gets skyrocketed. A cell-signal booster tested by Sandia National laboratories, got a recent boost in news headlines due to its high functionality. The lab confirmed that this lightweight portable device, named ORC Tech (Optical Radio Communications Technology), can increase the phone reception network by 20%. Licensed its technology from the NASA Johnson Space Center, ORC Tech device is influenced by the collapsible and portable wireless NASA tool, which the astronauts use to improve communications in space.

The Initiative

ORC Tech LLC is a New Mexico-based startup, which took the help of Sandia lab this summer, to test different prototypes for its device through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program. This program allows the national laboratory to provide needed technical support to small businesses. With the test results in hand, now the ORC Tech is ready to manufacture the first batch of the signal-boosting device up to 300 numbers. According to founder member of the New Mexico Startup Factory John Chavez, the company is going to market the device next year with a soft launch of a small batch of 200-300 units.

The Device

The Sandia lab engineers tested different prototypes of the device over the summer. They used different types of geometric designs, fabric, and conductive thread to decide the best possible combination for augmenting cell signals. The research finally showed that a circular design, with an inner and outer radius made by two rings of conductive thread, can boost the reception by nearly 15 decibels. As the project’s lead engineer Stephen Neidigk explains, the boosting is equivalent to almost two extra signal bars on a cell phone. If a third ring is added, even better performance can be achieved. The collaborative work of ORC Tech and Sandia is most likely to continue next year for further improvement of the device’s design.