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Castrol Edge VR simulator

by on May 28, 2016

The ascension of virtual reality is nigh. Or, in a less stuck-up way, virtual reality is coming. Fast. However, for the experience to be “more real” you need more than just a fancy headset. Universal Studios has rides based on VR where you feel it in your body. The Japanese, in typical Japanese fashion, are experimenting with sexual contraptions to complement headsets. Recently, Antwand and I went to an event hosted by Castrol.

Yes, even motor oil companies are getting in on the VR fun. What they set out to do is make a racing simulation more realistic than any before it. To achieve this, they enlisted multiple companies, professional racecar drivers, neuroscientists and a football player.

The heart of the project is the racing seat. Every turn, every bump, even braking is felt in your body as the hydraulics supporting the seat shift and vibrate on the dime. It is controller vibration pumped up to 11. You’re local Dave and Buster’s may have something similar, but this sim takes the physics to another level. This is because Castrol has a major edge (pardon the pun) on those games.

Control enlisted professional drivers to test the simulation and give feedback on the physics. *Driver* a professional driver for Koenigsegg, was one such tester. He talked about the trial and error, how certain features of a car affect it in ways you wouldn’t notice in your typical agora or GT. Aftermath  trial and error, they adjusted the physics to bring the simulation to a new level. But they didn’t stop there.

Put this sentence later Once they had crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s they wanted to have their testers race someone unique, themselves. This is where things get really cool. The drivers drove these accurately built virtual cars on virtual tracks based on real life counterparts where every detail is accounted for. They started with satellite images of real tracks, such as the ***. Then they added every minute detail from the course. In one of the courses, one of the turns has a slight imperfection. Even these little details are taken into account.

At this point, you are probably saying, in one form or another, that these things have been done before. Maybe not with this much attention to detail, but it isn’t unprecedented. You may also be thinking, ‘they can race themselves already in the form of a time trial.’ Enter the HUD, the one thing the creative team had to build completely from scratch. The Heads Up Display showed the drivers the real time progress of their earlier run in the simulator. As in a real race, they can gauge exactly where they are in respect to their virtual counterpart. It’s a unique feat.

This simulation also has scientific benefits. While still difficult to hook-up an EEG machine, to a driver on an actual track, using a device like this gives neuroscientist the ability to track the mind of a driver in action. [develop this]

Which brings us to that football player mentioned earlier. It comes in the behemouth form of Vince Wilfork. We were able to [sit down with him]. <Make a hyperlink to interview article> Mr. Wilfork comes into the picture on the scientific side. Athletes of all kinds are rare creatures, from football players to race car drivers. On an objective level, they are the best at what they do. With the new results found using VR, they can have new studies on what makes athletes unique.
While some things, like the graphics, still give it an artificial feel, the hardware and the virtual physics are on an unprecedented level. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops and how they begin to integrate this with the *main part* of VR