Serious Factory and the GNFA combine their expertise to promote the automotive industry to young audiences through virtual reality

  5 July 2019 |  Léa Renault  Serious Factory's Actualities

Suresnes, July 4th 2019 – As part of the promotion of the automotive and mobility profession, the ANFA has asked the GNFA, who have approached Serious Factory, to create virtual reality modules. The objective is to offer an audience of young people an immersive experience to familiarize themselves in a fun and interactive way with the sometimes-unknown jobs in the automotive industry.

How to communicate and attract young people to recruit effectively for technical trades

With more than 410,000 employees working on a daily basis to promote the French automotive industry, the automotive and mobility services branch is constantly innovating and modernizing in response to the challenges of a rapidly changing market: mobility revolution, environmental imperatives, societal expectations, etc. In this context, the division must attract the best talent and enhance the value of these businesses to cope with these changes. The strategic contract for the automotive sector 2018-2022, led by the National Industry Council (CNI), specifies that the training of men and women in the automotive industry will be at the heart of its transformation.

It is in this context that the GNFA, a training organisation in the automotive and mobility services sector, is involved in preparing learners as well as possible to receive regular training and to train for the changes in a rapidly changing market. To go further and introduce the industry’s businesses, the GNFA has partnered with Serious Factory to create virtual reality simulations.

Practicing in a concrete situation thanks to virtual reality

The simulations offered in virtual reality headsets place young people in immersive simulators to discover a series of technical activities involving business gestures to be carried out, in a virtual environment (real-time 3D). Through several workshops, the experiments aim to showcase some actions specific to mechanical trades, related to the automobile or repair workshops. Through examples of vehicles of different types (trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles), the educational devices allow users to slip into the shoes of a mechanic and carry out the daily actions of this branch of activity.

The experience is intended to be a discovery of the different professions in a workshop, through various maintenance operations for the vehicles concerned, ranging from changing tires to changing oil. Broadcasted during fairs for young audiences, the experiments are intended to develop the desire to learn more about the professions and their daily activities.

The innovation lies in the assumed choice to introduce the professions in the professional sector through an immersive experience and simulation. The proposed virtual reality course allows the young public to appreciate the diversity of the professions, the variety of activities and their technical nature. The objective is to arouse interest and inspire the desire to enter professions where vocations may be rare. The GNFA is also part of this project to contribute to the development of apprenticeship and work-linked training in France.

A project integrating the latest technological innovations in virtual reality

In this experiment, Oculus Rift technology was used. It is characterized for the learner by the use of a virtual reality headset and controllers to simulate the technical manual gestures to be performed in the workshop. The experiment is thus deployed in virtual reality, on a computer supporting 3D in real time. Serious Factory has thus brought all its 3D expertise in terms of software intelligence, as well as its experience on projects with high pedagogical value, together, in order to meet the challenges of the GNFA.

Christophe BECHELLAOUI, Digital Learning Manager at GNFA, testifies to the impact of the simulations on the user public: “The young people targeted via virtual reality simulations were very enthusiastic about the technology. This has allowed GNFA to promote the poorly known and sometimes undervalued automotive professions through a unique immersive experience. With this type of simulation, we communicate very precisely on the meticulousness that these professions involve and we open people’s minds to the immense potential of the sector in terms of the diversity of jobs offered. Given the success of the collaboration with Serious Factory, we are already planning new projects using virtual reality technology to integrate it into our training programs. ».