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Displays Transportation Games

Racing a Real Car While Wearing an Oculus VR Headset (wsj.com) 74

pbahra writes: In a race that fuses video-game technology and real world driving skill, two professional drivers, on two separate but identical tracks, have raced against each other — effectively blind — while wearing virtual reality headsets attached to their crash helmets. The drivers hurtled around the circuit in two identical 2015 V8 Ford Mustangs, trusting that what they were seeing on their Oculus Rift DK2 VR headsets was a true, real-time representation of how their cars were performing on the actual track. One of the main challenges: tracking the cars' exact positions as they sped around the track without the need for re-calibration. This was necessary so that an exact match could be achieved between what was happening on the physical track and its representation on the VR screens.
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Racing a Real Car While Wearing an Oculus VR Headset

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Real Men wouldn't have been on separate tracks.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Some say, Ben Collin's memoir cost him a position on a popular British TV motoring show.
      All we know is, he was called the Stig.

      And since Stigs are not humans, your comment does not apply.

  • This assumes that what you're seeing with your eyes is "reality". There's no absolute proof of that. :)
    • Nobody sees reality. Everybody "sees" the light that is reflected by objects, as perceived by the eye and interpreted by the brain. You could say what we see is a three-level abstraction of reality. And in this way we see only a tiny bubble of the things that reflect enough of the right light to be perceived by our eyes, that are unoccluded, and in our field of view. So reality is filtered three times before we are allowed to see it. Then of course we are limited to see the things sharing the same tiny bubb

  • on two separate but identical tracks

    How do you do that? I should think building a second track which is identical to the first would be a hell of a feat.

    All it would take it relatively small differences in the track and it's going to make a huge difference.

    I've never heard of such a thing, any civil engineers who could tell us how hard it is to have two identical race tracks? I just can't see it being easy to get the same grading and all that in two separate places.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you look at the video they just setup some cones on some dirt to make a "racetrack".

    • We all know that Separate but equal isn't.

    • by Minupla ( 62455 )

      They laid the 'track' out with cones. When you have VR, you don't need walls :)

      Min

      • Well, I was thinking more in terms of grading and slope of places which would affect the driving.

        But if they're both just on a flat track, then it's less of a deal.

        I was just picturing trying to simulate something like the famous corkscrew turn at Laguna Seca -- and there's no way in hell you can simulate that on a track laid out with cones.

        • A flat track with the same predictable surface everywhere too so you don't have to read it all the time.

      • Sounds like a mix of quotes from The Matrix and Back to the Future:

        VR means fasten your seat belt Dorothy, 'cause where we're going, we don't need roads.

    • With machine control and a local positioning system, it's probably repeatable within a few inches horizontally. Vertical repeatability is a little bit harder, both because of the limits of GNSS and because of variability in material.
    • How do you do that? I should think building a second track which is identical to the first would be a hell of a feat.

      All it would take it relatively small differences in the track and it's going to make a huge difference.

      We ran into this issue while programming networked simulators for the USAF. When you have two simulators interacting with each other, you can't just spam position updates as fast as you can. You'll quickly saturate the network bandwidth if you do. Consequently, you have to rely on le

  • Use The Force, Luke.

    Let go.

    Luke, trust me.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    They also had the same problem of tracking the car exactly as they found that even the difference between front and back seats would cause nausea.

  • Actually this technology if it could be implemented reliably could be very useful. Imagine if you could have a full heads up display where there's no blind spots coupled with self-driving technology to alert you visibly on the screen if you were about to slam into another object or point out potholes, ect with driving guidance. I imagine the military might want something like this as well as the windows usually arn't as well armoured as the vehicle itself or there's a tonne of blind spots in an actual tan

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday December 04, 2015 @03:43PM (#51058771) Journal

    Sounds interesting.
    Would be great if they said:
    - how it worked
    - did it work?
    - what speeds did they achieve
    - driver's opinions
    - surprises?
    - how did they cope with in-race obstacles? Could they just drive over them?
    - same with the other car, a HUGE part of racing is positioning...in this could they just drive through the other car?

    BUT THEY DON'T
    Worthless fucking promo video.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller

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