The simulator that analyses driver behaviour in real time


Volvo claims to have developed the 'ultimate driving simulator’. — Volvo/AFP

Volvo Cars has unveiled a new tool that the Swedish manufacturer bills as the "ultimate driving simulator". Thanks to augmented reality, it can be used to recreate any driving scenario, in any model. But what makes this system really original is that it can record the driver's every reaction, notably thanks to a full-body suit providing haptic feedback.

This simulator makes use of the latest video gaming technology, particularly when it comes to hardware, including a moving driving seat, a full-body suit and steering wheel providing haptic feedback, and a Varjo virtual reality headset. The system uses the headset to immerse drivers in highly realistic high-definition 3D images.

While driving, the Teslasuit bodysuit provides haptic feedback from the virtual world, while also monitoring body reactions. Information regarding interactions between the driver and the vehicle can then be used to help develop and hone new active safety features and driver assistance functions. Technologies being tested by the carmaker can be trialed in the simulator to get fast results.

This unique simulator should help further technological progress in the field of vehicle safety. Volvo Cars engineers can program it with endlessly customisable scenarios for use on a real test track road or in the test lab, while using a real car, and all in total safety. This allows them to collect all kinds of data about the driver's reactions. Scenarios can be based on existing models, as well as models and prototypes in development.

This kind of simulator can be used to test a whole multitude of solutions in a more cost-effective way than with real-world testing, all while reducing risk of accidents.

Beyond Volvo's engineers, the aim is to one day get a wide range of people using the simulator to help the carmaker trial and perfect its choices. – AFP Relaxnews

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