Design Engineering

Optical illusions help Ford keep prototypes camouflaged


General Automotive camouflage prototype

Ford is using vinyl stickers with patterns that trick the eye and hide body lines to cover its vehicles.

One of the challenges automakers faces in this digital age is protecting its new technologies and prototypes from would be spies who are eager to share trade secrets. Ford is going to some extraordinary lengths to keep their advancements under wraps during real world testing. Engineers have found a new way to hide its new designs in plain sight with a camouflaging technique.

Ford uses stickers to camouflage vehiclesPreviously, automakers were forced to use unsightly black vinyl to hide vehicles, however, Ford has developed a more effective methods for concealing its vehicles throughout product development.

Ford is using vinyl stickers with patterns that create an optical illusion to trick the eye and hide body lines to cover its vehicles. This technique blurs details in photographs, “allowing Ford not only to hide its products from photographers, but to preserve its confidential designs and sustain its competitive edge.”

“The work we’re doing is crucial to Ford staying competitive in a constantly evolving industry,” said John LaQue, Ford section supervisor, Prototype Planning and Build. “When we make it to a reveal without a photo surfacing of a non-camouflaged car, we have all done our jobs.”


Ford uses stickers to camouflage vehiclesThe stickers are universal and can be added to any vehicle in Ford’s lineup. The stickers are randomly attached to the vehicle, with no particular pattern required. They are light weight and do not drastically affect the aerodynamics of the vehicle, allowing for more accurate testing.

Engineers are developing advanced vehicle camouflage techniques to keep Ford ahead of the game.


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