Motion Pro II Driving Sim: So Realistic, Crashing It Could Be Fatal

Driving simulators are nothing new. They're specifically designed to let users experience driving and all that it entails from a safe platform. Heck, it can even be used to have some fun. But what if the simulation is so close to reality that a very dangerous crash in the simulator could actually lead to real physical injury? Sounds like a plot for a science fiction piece? Guess again. Virtual and actual reality meet in the Motion Pro II, which is able to accurately simulate even the fatal forces of a car crash.

No, the simulator won't actually crash or crush you. But the physics resulting in a crash that could break your bones or your neck might. Aside from lacking wheels, a body, and the ability to actually be driven on the road, this $5,400 simulator from CXC Simulations is probably the most accurate one in the market. Of course, the question is whether someone would actually use it.

Accurately replicating almost everything that goes on in a car, especially during crashes, can be critical to research. Finding out the forces that get transfered to the steering wheel during those incidents can help in the design of future cars, the education of drivers, and the prevention of accidents. This is even more crucial when training sports car drivers. For example, CXC founder Chris Considine explains that if you don't take your hands off the wheel of an Indy Car when it hits the wall, you better say good bye to them. And he should know, since he's a former racer himself. In fact, the company includes a former Ferrari F1 engineer and Maserati test driver.

Naturally, the simulator doesn't really deliver that much force, about 16 Newton meter, though it is capable of doing that. The settings are cranked down to safe levels, just enough to let drivers actually feel the shock, but not enough to kill them. The simulator can mimic the behavior of over a thousand cars, including minute details peculiar to certain nameplates and models. Its low-mass motion generators can give around 2 g of workout to users, while the seat belts can simulate braking forces.

The Motion Pro II can also be rigged to become a flight simulator, but hopefully it can't replicate the forces of a plane crash as accurately.

SOURCE: IEEE Spectrum