14.10.10

Lexus tackles safety with simulator

AUTHOR: Inavate

AV technology is at the heart of a futuristic driving simulator that is the star of Lexus’ latest advertising campaign. The car manufacturer describes it as “the world’s most advanced driving simulator” and hopes it will help it boost road safety.

“In our latest television spot, we are inviting consumers into our state-of-the-art testing facility for a behind-the-scenes look at the Lexus driving simulator to see this revolutionary machine in action,” staid Dave Nordstrom, vice president of marketing for Lexus.

The simulator is housed in a large building on the company’s research campus in Higashifuji, Japan. A series of complex, interlocking full motion tracks span the interior of a room the size of a football field. On top of the tracks sits a round domed structure, approximately 15 feet high and 56 feet in diameter, supported on a full three-axis hexapod system.

Inside the dome, a real Lexus vehicle is mounted to a turntable, allowing drivers to test and experience actual vehicle controls. A high-definition imaging system provides a full 360-degree environment of roads around the vehicle. Drivers can see and hear traffic and the city around them, including receding scenery viewable in the side- and rear-view mirrors.

The pod is able to tip forward or backward and side-to-side to create sensations of acceleration. Coupled with the track system, which moves the pod in all directions, the simulator creates realistic feelings of cornering and handling, and can mimic speeds of up to 186 miles per hour with a turn angle of 330 degrees.