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Transportation Hardware

Inside Virttex, Ford's Driver Distraction Simulator 126

An anonymous reader writes "After my collision the world went blank but I didn't see angels and harps because the highway and the crash situation were imaginary, created inside Ford's Virttex (virtual text track experiment cockpit simulator). Functioning much like a simulator for pilots, this domed virtual world on pitching and sliding stilts has been used to test car cockpits and instruments since 2001. It played a role in the development of recent center stacks such as MyFord Touch. In recent years, Ford used Virttex driver distraction research to learn more about what causes driver inattention and what countermeasures Ford can embed into cars to keep people like me from becoming another Darwinian statistic. It also gives Ford a leg up on the competition — Ford says it's the only automaker in the U.S. with a virtual reality simulator of this magnitude."
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Inside Virttex, Ford's Driver Distraction Simulator

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  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @08:43PM (#40850699) Journal

    While speeding is the leading cause for most traffic accidents, one can't deny that unskilled drivers also contributed to a significant portion of traffic mayhem

    Current system of testing / passing drivers are often way too insufficient - as long as the driver can manage to drive the test car without any mishaps they are rewarded a driver license - resulted in many drivers who are totally unprepared and unskilled to handle heavy and often very tricky traffic situations (like water planing, ice-skitting, and such)

    I believe it comes time to upgrade the DMV with simulator, and those who want to obtain a driver license must first demonstrate their skills in the simulator, with all sort of situational scenario thrown in

    This can lessen a significant portion of traffic mishaps and cut down the number of traffic injuries and deaths

  • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @08:45PM (#40850725) Journal

    Real-life driving tests are very limited in what they can test. Does the driver continue to drive the speed limit on a slippery road or when visibility is poor? Does the driver stop for pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks? If the car starts hydroplaning, does the driver let off the gas or slam on the brakes?

    We have the technology to test all of these situations and more. Why are we still in the 1950s in driver testing?

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @09:18PM (#40850981) Homepage

    Cellphone Jammer enabled al any speed above 10 mph. washer fluid squirts in the eyes when they look down for more than 3 seconds. brakes jam on and airbag deploys at 5X normal force when they change lanes without looking and a motorcycle is detected next to the car.

    Electrical jolt from the steering wheel and seat voltage increases with speed and proximity to the car in front of them. Tailgaiting gets you 160,000 volts at 400HZ AC.

    Lastly built in taint puncher built into the seat what is triggered every time the mirror is used to check the face or makeup.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"