Volvo Cars engineers call it ‘the ultimate driving simulator’, but it is not just an excuse for them to indulge their inner basement gamer. Instead, the Swedish company’s ground-breaking mixed-reality simulator is used to make new strides in safety and autonomous driving technology. A setup with a moving driving seat, a steering wheel with haptic feedback and a crystal-clear virtual reality headset would make any serious gamer jealous.
Using cutting-edge technology from the leading real-time 3D development platform Unity and Finnish virtual and mixed reality experts Varjo, the simulator involves driving a real car on real roads. It combines life-like, high definition 3D graphics, an augmented reality headset, and a full-body Teslasuit that provides haptic feedback from a virtual world, while also monitoring bodily reactions.
This combination of software and hardware allows Volvo engineers to endlessly simulate traffic scenarios on a real test track road while using a real car, all in total safety. Engineers can gain important insights on the interaction between people and the car for development of new safety, driver assistance and autonomous driving features.