SHARE THE ROAD: The WheelSwap VR Experience
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Happy Finish
OUR ROLE: Sound Design & 3D Audio Post Production
Ford has been producing cars for over 115 years, embracing the needs of the driver and creating vehicles for all kinds of lifestyles: from focusing on families, to looking sleek and stylish, to eco-friendly engineering. Now, they’ve teamed up with Happy Finish to create Share The Road: The WheelSwap VR Experience as part of their campaign to create an empathy-driven interactive experience promoting positive relationships between cyclists and drivers.
The 1.618 Digital team was tasked to design and mix realistic 3D audio during the post-production stage in order to enhance the potential to empathise with both the driver and cyclist during the events that take place in both films.
To emphasise the importance on making urban areas safer for all road users and to ultimately reduce congestion, the VR experience allows the viewer to see through to eyes of both a cyclist and a driver in order to convey the difficulties and frustrations that both parties experience on the roads. Ford conducted this experiment with the hope that this empathic experience will prompt road users to make the necessary changes to their driving and cycling etiquette, and to unite both parties in the pursuit of harmony.
As the driver, you feel the frustrations and dangers of careless cyclist behaviour, such as overtaking and ignoring traffic signals. As the cyclists, you find yourself on the receiving end of dangerous overtaking, turns with a lack of indicating and car doors being opened without checking. After shooting the film in the streets of Barcelona, Spain, Ford conducted research to see the effect that the films had on both cyclists and drivers. Here are the results:
- 91% of viewers intended to change their road behaviour after viewing both films.
- 70% of those who had watched the film with the opposing point of view expressed empathy for the cyclists and drivers respectively, compared to those who had not seen the films.
- After 2 weeks of viewing the films, 60% of viewers changed their driving habits to benefit the harmony of cyclists and drivers.
Now, Ford is using these films in their Driving Skills for Life program, a driver training and education program aimed at 17-24 year olds alongside their previous VR film collaboration with Happy Finish, Reality Check, which focuses on the dangers of distractions whilst driving.
Happy Finish Case Study: Ford ‘Share The Road’ VR Experience
Share The Road: Drivers Perspective: Ford WheelSwap: Life from a Driver’s Perspective | Ford UK
Share The Road: Cyclist Perspective: Ford WheelSwap: Life from a Cyclist’s Perspective | Ford UK
The Drum DADI Awards 2018: https://www.happyfinish.com/news/happy-finish-dadi-awards/