Cars race on separate tracks in realtime, but share virtual world

Motor oil company Castrol has returned with another promotional video combining virtual reality and racing, following earlier this year when a professional racing driver was placed in a virtual world while still behind the wheel of a real car. Now they have two drivers who are racing in the real world on separate but identical tracks, wearing special helmets with VR headsets over their eyes, with each of their cars in the same virtual world.

The whole thing may have next to nothing to do with motor oil, but it's still an incredibly impressive use of VR technology. The drivers aren't viewing the real road in front of them at all, yet they are certainly driving a real vehicle at dangerous speeds. Fortunately the "track" in reality is just outlined with cones and there are no physical obstacles to collide with.

In terms of the VR world, the drivers can not only see each other's cars, but also hazards like rocks on the track and smoke obscuring their view. "It's pretty amazing what the brain can cope with, and we're absolutely pushing that to the limit," said Ben Collins, one of the drivers (and formerly The Stig), referring to the fact that what they see is little more than a low-polygon video game, but they still have the same real world physical feedback from the car's movements.

Maybe next they work on syncing up eight drivers in the same virtual world and allowing them to experience a Mario Kart-like environment, complete with banana peels and blue shells.

VIA The Verge

SOURCE Castrol/YouTube