The bane of every algebra students comes when they are asked to measure the volume of some random and complicated shape. Apparently the engineers at Ford hate it just as much as those high school students, and have devised a clever way to solve that issue. Ping pong balls.
The biggest issue Ford had with its engineers performing volume calculations the old-fashioned way, using a tape measure, was that each engineer came up with a different number. They have found that by using ping pong balls, they are coming up with more consistent measurements. They use this method to not only measure their own vehicles, but competitor machinery as well. This maintains a proper baseline for their measurements and comparisons. Of course they are still using some fancy math to account for the amount space between the balls, but if you ever need a ballpark figure how big something in your car is, just use some ping pong balls. Tell your algebra teacher that we said it was OK.
As an extra bit of trivia, guess how many ping balls it would take to fill a new Ford Escape. About 56,778.
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