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Transportation Technology

The World's Most Dangerous Driving Simulator 83

agent elevator writes: Lawrence Ulrich at IEEE Spectrum has an interview with the maker of a simulator for professional racers. The Motion Pro II from CXC Simulations costs racers $54,000 and up. It conveys amazingly fine sensations, including the feel of the car's tires wearing out or the car lightening as its fuel dwindles. It also has the kick to make you really feel a crash: "If you hit the wall in an Indy Car and don't take your hands off the wheel, you'll break your wrists. 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."
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The World's Most Dangerous Driving Simulator

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  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:49PM (#49665697)
    Sure, it's a damn fine simulator, but nothing that a top F1 team haven't used before.

    And $54,000? That's pocket change for someone disputing a FIA world championship.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:51PM (#49665707) Homepage

    The test pilot blender is almost complete, I see.

    This is like disabling the safety protocols on the holodeck.

    • by Anders Bylund ( 2986017 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:10PM (#49665899)
      Cake, and grief counseling, will be available at the conclusion of the test.
    • by zx75 ( 304335 )

      New from CXC Simulations! The firing squad simulator so realistic, it could kill you!

      CXC Simulations does not assume responsibility for accidental death or injury cause by use of simulator. All participants use the simulator at their own risk.

    • So if you are in need of a plot, there is a common malfunction that kicks in.

      Ok I get it when a person intentionally turns them off. But for every error, the safety protocols seems the first to fail. I would expect in case of error default to the holodeck turns off. Taking a 2-3 meter fall, is much better than getting shot.

  • by flopsquad ( 3518045 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:55PM (#49665761)

    It's the first time we've been able to replicate racing forces so high that it introduces liability questions.

    As a nerd-attorney, I think it's rad as hell they have a racing simulator so accurate they could get sued for hurting you with it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's the first time we've been able to replicate racing forces so high that it introduces liability questions.

      As a nerd-attorney, I think it's rad as hell they have a racing simulator so accurate they could get sued for hurting you with it.

      So accurate they could get sued for letting you hurt yourself with it.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:15PM (#49665951)

    ...they had to turn down from 11 because trainees were actually getting hurt when it crashed? For some reason I remember broken teeth being part of the experience.

    I'm not sure why a simulator would ever want to bash people that hard. You'd think it'd be almost more jarring to have the simulation just stop completely -- lights go on, screen dark.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      Well, there is the whole angle that if the person isn't good enough to even operate the simulator, perhaps they should consider a career change and not try to operate the machine that the simulator is training them to operate.

      There's also the perspective that negative reinforcement (ie, getting hurt) is a good motivator to avoid doing some things, and if getting hurt but still having to complete the task is a very realistic possibility with a given situation, then being injured but having to continue ope
    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      I'm not sure why a simulator would ever want to bash people that hard. You'd think it'd be almost more jarring to have the simulation just stop completely -- lights go on, screen dark.

      Sometimes the bashing part IS the reason for the simulation HUET Train to Survive [rigzone.com] (although in this case there is no actually bashing .. but you get the idea)

    • It depends on what is being simulated; but if the user is expected to do something useful under dire conditions(trigger ejection seat or the like), it may not be possible to usefully 'simulate' without beating on them a bit. A simulator that produces people who can calmly press the correct button when presented with the appropriate visual and audio stimuli; but panics, or flinches and jars the controls, when exposed to the shocks of a real mechanical system really failing might well get some users killed.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:43PM (#49666233)
      My (5 story) building houses several commercial aviation sims, everything from MD-88s to 777s, and supposedly (I have only been here about 3 months) if you take them into a stall or crash it can shake the entire building. In fact my coworker that sits across from me jsut today paused for a second and said that it sounded like someone crashed a sim, and they are 2 floors below us.
      • by Pikoro ( 844299 )

        I work on full motion flight simulators (MD-11 and 747-400) and those things can move!

        Like, several tens of tons of metal going from one extreme to another in less than a second in some cases. Building shaking? Not so much. Air displacement and the sound of the hydraulics moving that much mass that quickly? Scary some times.

        Imagine something the size of a large dump truck moving straight up 4 meters, then straight back down 4 meters and them back up in just a second or so. It just "feels" wrong.

    • by Guy From V ( 1453391 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:49PM (#49666299) Homepage

      Your post reminded me of the Comanche [wikipedia.org] combat sim games, one of the first I remember that allowed players to actually "dogfight" head-to-head via it's own network. I got my first real CFS flight stick and weapons control setup just for them.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stephanruby ( 542433 )

      I'm not sure why a simulator would ever want to bash people that hard. You'd think it'd be almost more jarring to have the simulation just stop completely -- lights go on, screen dark.

      Please don't do that. Don't stop the simulation at the moment of the crash itself. I hate it when you guys do that !

      I want to know how many spectators I was able to take out (I mean avoid). I want to know if I was able to survive the ambulance ride and how many times they needed to use those paddles on me. I want to know if any of my bones are broken, if my brain is damaged, if I ever wake up, if I'll still be able to function in the bedroom, if I'll still be able to walk, and/or if I'll be able to pay my

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I want to know how much time my significant other grieves before she (or he) starts banging somebody else.

        You're unsure of your significant other's gender?

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      I'm not sure why a simulator would ever want to bash people that hard. You'd think it'd be almost more jarring to have the simulation just stop completely -- lights go on, screen dark.

      There were a few other examples that were good, but another one I've heard of is simulations of escaping from a sinking aircraft. They literally strap you into an aircraft cockpit, turn you upside down, and plunge you under cold water. Presumably safety divers are nearby, but I'm sure there is a real risk of death if you panic and there is some kind of chain of failures that prevents rescue.

      However, on the whole it is designed to prepare you for an escape from a situation that has killed many people who w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I'm not sure why a simulator would ever want to bash people that hard. You'd think it'd be almost more jarring to have the simulation just stop completely -- lights go on, screen dark.

      Easy, to simulate the event. If you're supposed to do something just before crashing, it would help if you simulated enough of the action so you can prepare for that as well.

      Simulators are designed to train so that in emergencies, responses are practically reflex. If you're about to crash into the wall, you need to let go of t

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...they had to turn down from 11 because trainees were actually getting hurt when it crashed? For some reason I remember broken teeth being part of the experience.

      I'm not sure why a simulator would ever want to bash people that hard. You'd think it'd be almost more jarring to have the simulation just stop completely -- lights go on, screen dark.

      Most likely the simulator is meant to simulate the range of non-crash behavior, and that requires strong enough actuators that when you put it into a crash state they can inflict dangerous amounts of force in an attempt to model the state of the vehicle.

    • Pain avoidance is a great motivator; have the pilot seat equipped with electrodes, so failure results in a shocking result!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If we're going to post adverts they I'm going to join in. CKAS Mechatronics [ckas.com.au] makes better ones [ckas.com.au]. The F1 Racing Sims they made are awesome!
  • From TFA:

    If your last experience of a racing game was the old Pole Position on Nintendo in the â80s

    I never heard of a NES port of Pole Position. I had it on my Atari 2600...

  • I disagree (Score:4, Informative)

    by Guy From V ( 1453391 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:40PM (#49666191) Homepage

    I prefer the immersive, noetic intensity of Night Driver [youtube.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With those money you can get a much better simulator: a real car!

  • With those money you can get a much better simulator: a real car!
  • Almost... almost... Broken wrists? Getting there:
    "If you die in the game you die for real."

  • Maybe linking up these simulators in multiplayer could be a new sport that only uses electricity instead of fuel and tires.

    Spectators could choose their viewing angles (or multiple at once) as well as spectate in the "cockpit" like we do for FPS games.

  • I've always thought that local schools that run driver's ed courses could - with today's hardware and LCD monitors - reasonably inexpensively run a 3-panel simple driving simulator. Since so much of driving has to do with time behind the wheel, and exposure to the daily surprises we all see regularly, you could probably run a nice little business building & selling these to schools, where they could require X hours of logged behind-the-wheel time just driving around.

    • Which states don't do driver's training in high school? I had to have a number of hours on the road, in the terrible, comical simulator, and class time (plus tests). If you missed a day you had to make it up.

      And then I turned 16, and walked to the DMV and got a license with an awesome score of 666 (out of 672) on my driving exam. I got a terrible 240Z the next weekend, much fun was had.

      Very much Iron Maiden was listened to in the car.

      • Which states don't do driver's training in high school?

        In reality, many, possibly most schools in the US, don't do "behind the wheel" drivers ed any more. It's often one of the first things to go when budgets get tight (I suspect liability insurance gets expensive). I've heard of some schools that still offer the program charging for it, and the last 3 places I've lived there are multiple "for profit" drivers ed companies since at least some road hours are required to get a license.

  • by jerome ( 3086 )

    TFA sounds like an advertisement written by someone who has obviously no idea what driving simulators are nowadays.
    Never heard about http://force-dynamics.com/ ?
    Or http://www.gekosystems.com/ ?

    Even DIYers build racing wheels with forces around 15 Nm ( http://www.racingfr.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=46898 in France, probably on many english forums as well).

  • If you hit the wall in an Indy Car and don't take your hands off the wheel, you'll break your wrists.

    They could use a drive-by-wire whose force feedback isn't strong enough to break a wrist. Wouldn't the car be safer without a steering wheel aimed at the driver's chest? F16's use a joystick on the side; a racecar could do the same.

  • "If you hit the wall in an Indy Car and don't take your hands off the wheel, you'll break your wrists. Our wheel is a one-to-one replication of that, but we don't turn it up that high.

    If you don't turn it up that high, it's not really a one-to-one replication then, is it?

    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      "If you hit the wall in an Indy Car and don't take your hands off the wheel, you'll break your wrists. Our wheel is a one-to-one replication of that, but we don't turn it up that high.

      If you don't turn it up that high, it's not really a one-to-one replication then, is it?

      It is, up to its limit. One-to-one just means they aren't scaling back ALL outputs to fit them in their dynamic range, they're allowing them to clip to the safety limits.

  • The motion on this looks very limited compared to system that try to to simulate g-forces, like the rigs by Force Dynamics:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • I was working at Disney Imagineering in 1999 and was sent to Florida for 3 weeks to bring Disney Quest (a five story arcade) online early to coincide with the opening of Animal Kingdom. We were working 8am to 2am and were stressed. They had a Daytona USA game 8 drivers wide and the SEGA setup guy showed us how to trip the unlimited free plays. The 8 of us would usually run it about an hour every night to burn off steam. I am sure it (really) doesn't compare to this but it was really fun to run hard again

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