LEVERAGING VR AS A
POWERFUL EMPATHY TOOL
We collaborated with H&K Strategies to produce an empathy-driven VR experience for Ford, encouraging behavioural change amongst motorists and cyclists.
The WheelSwap VR experience is part of Ford’s wider ‘Share the Road’ campaign, which promotes driver and cyclist harmony in a bid to make urban areas safer, reduce congestion and ultimately protect road users.
Our capture team, armed with a Z Cam and stunt actors, shot 360° films in Barcelona, Spain. We produced two experiences to help generate an empathetic response: one from the cyclist’s perspective and one from the driver’s perspective.
Motorists not indicating and cyclists jumping red lights are actions we all witness on a daily basis. WheelSwap enables motorists and cyclists to experience these behaviours first-hand from a different perspective and through the powerful medium of VR.
“There is no more effective means of appreciating someone else’s point of view than stepping into their shoes, or in this case, on to their pedals. Empathy is an immensely powerful emotion”, claims behavioural scientist Dan Berry who helped devise the experiment.
Over 1200 people across five different European countries watched WheelSwap and took part in the initial research carried out by Ford to gauge how effective the experience was. The results were overwhelmingly in favour of VR being effective as a tool for empathy:
- 91% of people who used the WheelSwap experience intended to change their behaviour.
- 70% of those who used WheelSwap displayed greater empathy to their driving and cycling counterparts after watching the VR experience compared to those who had not.
- Within 2 weeks of taking part, 60% of participating drivers and cyclists changed their on-road habits.
Ford have now integrated the WheelSwap experience into its driver training program for 17-24-year-olds, Driving Skills For Life.
Director: Elliot Graves
Producer: Rain Osgood
Exec. Producer: Julian Anderson
360° Camera: Jamie Mossahebi
VFX Editor: James Brown
VFX: Matt Gazzard
VFX: Stefano Pasotti
Graphics: Elliot Graves
Developer: Sebastian Kedra
Cover Image: Ford