Racing Simulation so Real It Could Put You in a Cast
The Motion Pro II, a driving simulator created by CXC Simulations, is less a gaming system than a training tool for professional drivers. The device is priced as a lofty $56,000, and boasts breathtaking realism in emulating the feeling of speeding down the racetracks.
To simulate the experience of g-forces impressed on the body when going through cycles of acceleration and deceleration, the Motion Pro directs brief but intense jerks felt by the head and torso. To simulate the experience of the driving terrain, the company models individual racetracks down the millimeter.
Recently, the company has made progress in refining the realism of the experience of steering the virtual vehicle, including each “curve and turn.” Part of which involves the sudden, inflexible lurches of the wheel when the vehicle crashes.
“If you hit the wall in an Indy Car and don’t take your hands off the wheel,you’ll break your wrists,” Chris Considine, founder of CXC, told IEEE. “Our wheel is a one-to-one replication of that, but we don’t turn it up that high. It’s the first time we’ve been able to replicate racing forces so high that it introduces liability questions.”
One of the first lessons for a professional race-driver is that they need to take their hands off the wheel in preparation for a crash, lest they break their wrist.
Although CXC is considered cutting edge within its own niche, it hasn’t been resistant to the waves of innovation that has swept the rest of the virtual reality industry. Traditionally the visuals for the Motion Pro has been provided by three 55-inch flat-screen TVs, but the company is now transitioning into a simulation that integrates Oculus VR.