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Volvo creates mixed reality simulator for testing cars

21 November 2020, Saturday By Victoria Frolova

Volvo Demonstrated 'Perfect Driving Simulator' Based On Game Engine And Mixed Reality Glasses.

Volvo engineers have developed a mixed reality simulator to test various automotive technologies and safety systems. The principle of its operation was demonstrated during an online conference.

Volvo Demonstrates Perfect Driving Simulator

The Swedes themselves call their platform "the perfect driving simulator." The technology, which runs on the Unity game engine, includes a movable driver's seat setup, tactile feedback steering wheel, and virtual reality glasses. During the tests, the "driver" himself puts on a special Teslasuit body suit, which provides tactile feedback to the virtual world, and also monitors the body's reactions.

In addition to the test lab, Vovo's mixed reality simulator is also used in real-world driving conditions. In this case, the technology can project a huge number of different scenarios on the road and inside the car. For example, during the presentation, a virtual moose entered the polygon track (it could only be seen in mixed reality glasses). At that moment, the car's emergency braking system worked, and a special suit recorded the driver's actions and the reaction of his body for subsequent analysis by specialists.

In this way, Volvo Cars engineers can simulate a wide variety of traffic scenarios on a real test track using a real car without putting drivers at risk. The engineers are going to use the obtained data to develop new functions in the field of safety, driver assistance, and autonomous driving.

"This allows us to test real cars in road conditions that look and feel real and can be adjusted at the push of a button," said Casper Wickman, Senior Head of User Experience at Volvo's Open Innovation Arena.

Volvo first started using mixed reality glasses in real cars last year. The Finnish company Varjo also took part in this project. This year the technology has been seriously upgraded and expanded. According to the Swedes, this is the first time they have used this technology in the automotive world.

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