GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Volvo Cars has used what it calls ”unconventional technology” to create a driving simulator to develop new safety, driver assistance, and autonomous features in its products.
The simulator includes a ”mixed reality” headset, three-dimensional rendering powered by leading computer games technology, and a full-body haptic suit. When used together, the automaker says, it is nearly impossible to separate simulation from reality.
The combination of soft- and hardware from the world of computer gaming, the features can simulate many traffic scenarios on a real road while using a real car and gather important knowledge on the interaction between people and cars – all in total safety.
”Using 3D modelling and real-time rendering along with virtual and mixed reality,” Volvo says, ” is a much faster and more efficient way of evaluating prototypes, designs, and human-machine interaction.
”It also makes possible the creation of futuristic autonomous drive environments to prepare for an autonomous future.”
Teslasuit’s full-body haptic suit
DONNING a haptic suit during testing, Volvo says, can make people feel imagined situations. The Teslasuit allows the wearer to physically feel how a real car might react in simulated scenarios.
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”This allows us to safely and accurately test human reactions to risky situations that need to be avoided and mitigated. We can study how muscles, stress levels, and heart-rate might react under stress perceived as very, very real.”
Varjo’s XR-1 mixed reality headset
THIS IS a professional mixed-reality device, Volvo says, which merges virtual content with real life using the photo-realistic visuals and eye-tracking to reliably test the functionality, aesthetics and safety of our designs.
Unity Technologies’ Unity3D engine
THIS ADVANCED real-time 3D engine can create virtual environments and objects as close to the real world as currently possible. ”Our partnership gives us access to Unity’s latest simulation tools and in return we share with them valuable information about what the automotive industry needs in this exciting new area.”