Start-up turns ordinary cars into VR driving simulators

Start-up turns ordinary cars into VR driving simulators

A Viennese start-up turns any car into an immersive mixed reality driving simulator. How does it work?

The mixed reality simulators from Viennese startup Nekonata XR Technologies (NXRT) are designed to turn any vehicle into an immersive driving simulator. Virtual reality and the real environment merge to create an immersive driving experience.

The car becomes a VR simulator

The system, called “XQ Avatar,” is to be able to be used in any vehicle. Virtual test drives can be carried out quickly and easily in the salesroom of a car dealership. The vehicle is placed with its front tires on a small platform that enables rotary movements.

This allows the steering wheel to be operated as in normal road traffic without the tires locking. The test drivers sit in the cockpit of the vehicle and wear a VR headset. This is equipped with a stereoscopic camera to capture the real environment.

Virtual reality through the windshield

Similar to Varjo’s VR cockpit, a mixed reality algorithm takes the recorded images and merges virtual and real environments. With NXRT’s system, drivers see the entire real cockpit, including the steering wheel, dashboards and their real hands. Only through the vehicle windows do they look into a virtual environment.

The XR test drive is used primarily by manufacturers such as Porsche to familiarize potential customers with their advanced driving assistance systems. An augmented reality head-up display, which shows digital information in the driver’s field of vision, or the functionality of a brake assistant can be experienced directly.

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XR train driving simulator for prospective train drivers

Away from the showrooms of major car brands, the mixed reality simulator is also used to train track workers or machine operators. The Train Driver Simulator, for example, was developed to teach aspiring train drivers how to drive and maintain trains.

Video: NXRT

The simulator mainly simulates operations that rarely occur in reality, would be dangerous or would have serious consequences if operated incorrectly. In addition to driving a train, this also includes work on the track or coupling wagons.