Traffic collisions are increasing day by day. The reason being distracted driving. According to reports, in 2014, 3179 people died and 431,000 were injured due to traffic crashes in the US due to “distracted driving” alone.
Virtual Reality driving lessons are helping us to overcome different distractions like messages, pedestrians and radio sound etc.
Virtual reality driving setups are very simple to use for beginners. Virtual reality driving systems are also helping special children to learn how to cross the streets and roads for their safety.
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Driving Simulator vs. Virtual Reality Headsets
Virtual reality systems work on two basic components. First, the virtual surroundings created by a computer system or your mobile phone and second, your eye movement. Your headset comes with a tracker which notices your eye movements and manages the environment created around you accordingly.
Driving simulators are most likely the same as VR systems. The only difference is that it is not provided with HMD (helmet-mounted display). You need to set up a whole separate place for creating the interactive environment.
In this article, we will guide you through how to use different virtual reality headsets for improving or learning driving skills.
Teen Drive 365
If you are an Oculus rift user then here is the good news for you. Recently, Toyota and Oculus Rift have joined hands in the development of a simulator that will help you to learn how to deal with distractions while driving”. In this device, you will experience various distractions like pedestrians, heavy traffic, mobile sounds, traffic horn, etc.
Teen Drive 365 is the name of this application. Toyota has also installed the software and hardware for this application in their cars. So that users can practice and check how able are they to drive in the presence of distractions. This can work with both Oculus rift DK1 as well as Oculus rift DK2.
The instructions for setting up DK1 and Dk2 come along with the user manual guide.
Motion Pro II
CXC simulations are going to integrate their motion pro-II simulation car racing application with Oculus Rift to provide users with a better experience.
This integration will help you experience the feel of being on a real racing track and will help you in learning the tactics of a real race.
Besides this, other racing simulators available are:
- Project Cars
- Dirt Rally
- Asseto Corsa
- Live for Speed
VR Car Driving Simulator
VR car driving simulator is an application developed by Apple and is available on iTunes. From where you can easily install it. The app is compatible with google VR cardboard and other VR headsets available (except Samsung).
The game takes you to the real driving world with sharp turns and road bumps to teach you how to manage such a situation in real-life experience. To add further the game is provided with features like a speedometer and other dashboard gauges. This all seems to be real to the user.
Goodyear’s VR Driving Academy App
Goodyear has launched the VR Driving Academy App as part of their young driver training program. The app works on google cardboard and is a game in which the user selects the scenario to drive through and has to face the challenges in terms of distractions.
The distraction can be in terms of text messages, passengers talking, or external distractions like pedestrians walking, music, and horn sound from other vehicles as well. The app is also being used by DIA (Driving Instructors Association).
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Step By Step Guide to Learn Driving
Now we will provide you with a few simple steps with which you will be able to get to learn from the useful tools described above.
- Get any VR headset. The options available are Google Cardboard, Samsung gear VR, Oculus Rift DK1, DK2, and much more. If you think that these gears are very expensive and you cannot afford them. Follow our guide on how to make virtual reality goggles and you will be able to make your own VR goggles at home.
- Select the app from which you want to learn driving skills. We have provided you with a few options above in this guide as well.
- Install the App. Go to the google play store or any other website at which the driving app is available and install it on your device. Select the device which is compatible with your VR headset.
- Ready to go. Now you have all the things necessary for VR driving lessons. Launch the driving app on your device and enjoy driving in a virtual environment.
If you’re interested in learning more about virtual reality, check out our comprehensive guide on the topic.
The reason behind this lies in the fact that when a vehicle moves in the VR environment that leads to a change of direction and when the head moves to cope up that also causes a direction change. Now, both these motions are difficult to interpret by the brain of the VR headsets and hence it causes fatigue in the human brain which I referred to as cyber-sickness.
It is expected as VR technology advances, chances are that cybersickness will be rendered in the near future.