Award-Winning Driving Simulator Helps Patients On The Road To Recovery Using Ford Adapta Technology

Gama Ford Adapta
  • A safe virtual space can build confidence for drivers before getting behind the wheel of a car again
  • The simulator has now become a permanent fixture at the National Hospital for Paraplegics
  • Mustang Mach-E Ford Adapta is Ford’s first-ever 100 per cent electric vehicle designed for people with reduced mobility

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, 1 August 2023 – After a serious accident, those unfortunate enough to suffer major spinal injuries can face a long journey of physical rehabilitation. Yet there can also be psychological battles, especially when it comes to getting behind the wheel of a car again.

An award-winning simracing simulator, created by Ford Spain, Fundación ONCE and Team Fordzilla, and developed by Hi-Speed Simulators, is being used by patients at the National Hospital for Paraplegics in Toledo, Spain, to help them overcome both of these obstacles.

Applying the same technologies that Ford Adapta uses on its road vehicles – a programme in Spain to aid mobility for people with disabilities through the adaptation of vehicles – the simracing simulator allows patients to safely take to virtual roads. Not only does it help them get to grips with the feeling of driving again but it’s also a way to learn how to use the adapted controls.

For example, the steering wheel with hoops – that enables acceleration and deceleration without the need of foot pedals – is an unfamiliar experience for most drivers. Being able to trial them in a safe virtual space ahead of using the real thing can build confidence and help users begin to imagine being behind the wheel again.

The simulator has now become a permanent fixture at the National Hospital for Paraplegics, where it will continue helping those with spinal injuries to prepare both physically and mentally, and start to imagine taking to the open roads once again.

Mustang Mach-E Ford Adapta

Earlier this year, Jesús Alonso, President and CEO, Ford Spain, launched the Mustang Mach-E Ford Adapta at the Toledo hospital, Ford’s first-ever 100 per cent electric vehicle designed for people with reduced mobility. The same event was also the first exhibition of the Ford Adapta simulator to residents there, with coaching in virtual driving and simracing provided by Team Fordzilla’s José Iglesias. The controls used in the simulator are the same as in the adapted Mustang Mach-E, while even the onscreen dashboard in the virtual environment is the same as in the Mustang Mach-E, meaning the leap from virtual to real is as small as possible.

National Hospital for Paraplegics

The Toledo National Hospital for Paraplegics (HNP) was inaugurated in 1974. It serves as a national reference centre in specialist care, research and continuing education related to spinal cord injury. Aside from treatment, the hospital also develops initiatives and projects aimed at the normalising life for people with disabilities, from sports, to full integration into social, work and family life.

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