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Honda Engineer Who Uses Virtual Reality in Tech Training Profiled in Video

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Melissa Vance, senior staff engineer for the Technical Development Center at Honda North America’s Honda Heritage Center

Honda is continuing its long-running “What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda” video series. In the latest entry, Honda introduces viewers to Melissa Vance, who is currently leading the automaker’s efforts to use virtual reality to improve technical training and reduce costs.

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As she explains in the video, Melissa created a “virtual” world that enables maintenance and equipment service technicians to practice their welding techniques before entering the weld booth. This unusual application of VR technology allows them to hone their skills without the expense of using real materials.

“This type of high-tech training creates efficiencies, because we are saving reset time and raw materials,” said Melissa, who works as a senior staff engineer for the Technical Development Center at Honda North America’s Honda Heritage Center. “I am looking forward to finding more ways to leverage this technology in a number of training applications.”

This is one of the more emotional entries in the video series, as Melissa recounts her husband’s tragically fatal car crash in 2013. However, Vance credits having a strong support system with helping her carry on as a single mother. Today, she enjoys coaching her three children in a variety of sports in her spare time.

The “What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda” video series focuses on Honda associates who exemplify Honda’s commitment to “The Power of Dreams,” the automaker’s global mission statement that encourage employees to come up with ideas that will create new value for customers and society. The series is also meant to spotlight the ways in which Honda associates make a difference in their workplace and in their community.

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