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From carmaker to storyteller: Ford’s VR app lets fans see innovations up close

Not only is virtual reality reshaping the way we game, work out, and practice medicine, the technology has plenty of applications in the automotive world as well. In 2016, you can drive and even configure a new car from the comfort of your home, but fear not, we’ve only scratched the surface.

Ford has debuted a new “storytelling” VR app that allows customers and fans to see the company’s innovations up close. The app features a story about the Ford GT race car’s winning efforts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the brand promises it will bring consumers behind the scenes like never before.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences that showcase the best of Ford Motor Company,” said Lisa Schoder, Ford digital marketing manager. “Our virtual reality platform allows us to tell dramatic, impactful stories, to show a surprising side of Ford.”

Ford GT

Ford at Le Mans 2016

Available now on both iOS and Android devices, the app was developed in partnership with Tool of North America, one of the industry leaders in VR, 360-degree, and mobile app content. The firm saw the Ford GT race car as a unique narrative opportunity, as 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the GT40’s 1-2-3 victory in 1966.

“As an auto and racing enthusiast, I was inspired by the opportunity and the challenge of helping the iconic Ford brand make its virtual reality debut,” said Erich Joiner, founder of Tool of North America. “For the innovative Ford GT, I wanted to create something that gives people an exciting virtual reality experience beyond the traditional. I wanted to use the immersive technology not only to transport them to a new place, but to take them where only a special few from the Ford racing team typically go — inside the famed track at Le Mans.”

Related: A new Ford Focus RS500 could be on the way with 400 horsepower

According to Ford, all of the app’s content can be experienced with a VR headset, but it is not required to experience the stories. The brand’s next release is expected to go live in September and will feature none other than Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and the Ford Focus RS RX.