Toyota Uses Oculus Rift to Teach Distracted Drivers a Lesson
Image courtesy of: Toyota
At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota announced its new TeenDrive365 distracted driver simulator with the Oculus Rift that is designed to educate and help new drivers become safer drivers. So far it has proven very effective, and there is a lot of research behind it that may make this a key education tool for new drivers in the future. When you consider that the Oculus Rift isn’t even out of the developer phase yet, this is a great leap forward for Toyota and Oculus to identify, and create an educational use for virtual reality technology.
“Oculus Rift provides a virtual reality driving experience that mirrors real life behind the wheel, giving us a powerful, one-of-a-kind way to show parents and teens how everyday distractions can affect their ability to drive safely,” said Toyota’s corporate marketing director Marjorie Schussel on the Toyota press release following the announcement.
With the use of the Oculus Rift, the TeenDrive365 simulator will put viewers behind the wheel of a Toyota vehicle, as they drive through a 3D simulated world. During the simulation, they are challenged to maintain focus on the road, while dealing with various distractions, like the radio, text messages, traffic noise, virtual passengers in the car, and other few surprises. However, once focus is taken off from the road, the viewer faces the dangerous consequence that commonly occurs with distracted driving. Luckily enough, its just within the virtual world.
The new Toyota TeenDrive365 distracted driver simulator with the Oculus Rift is part of the company’s comprehensive campaign initiative to promote awareness of distractions while driving, which began in November 2013. Toyota plans to bring its VR simulation to automotive shows across the US in the coming months.