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Lexus unveils 'world's most advanced' driving simulator

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October 12, 2010

The Lexus driving simulator

The Lexus driving simulator

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At the Lexus research campus in Higashifuji, Japan, the automotive company has created what it claims is the most advanced driving simulator ever built. It consists of a domed pod, 15 feet high by 20 feet wide (4.57 x 6.1 m), which moves on a series of interlocking motion tracks within a hangar the size of a football stadium. Inside the pod, a full-size Lexus car is mounted on a turntable, and surrounded by an interactive 360-degree high-definition audio-visual simulation of real world driving environments. By allowing test drivers to safely experience various sketchy driving scenarios, the company hopes to learn more about driver behaviors and reaction times before accidents, then incorporate those findings into new active safety features in their cars.

After assessing existing simulators in various research institutions, the designers from Lexus decided that theirs would need to be larger, and offer a wider range of motion.

That range is made possible by a three-axis six-strut hexapod mounting system for the pod, which lets it tilt in all directions. The pod also moves fore and aft and side-to-side, on the tracks that run across the floor. Altogether, the system can simulate speeds of up to 186 mph (299 km/h) and turn angles of up to 330 degrees.

Inside the Lexus driving simulator

The simulator not only presents different traffic scenarios, but can add in factors such as talking navigation systems, text message displays, and other electronic distractions. It can also simulate poor driving visibility.

Other simulators that have been hailed by some as the world’s most advanced, within the past year or two, have included Ferrari’s F1 system, and the University of Iowa’s NADS-1 (National Advanced Driving Simulator).

The Lexus driving simulator

Ultimately, Lexus hopes that its simulator “will help move us toward a future where there are no accidents.” Definitely a lofty goal, but one that’s well worth shooting for.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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4 Comments

I shudder to think of the cost of this set-up. At least the car looks safe(no wheels) If we all had cars like this there would certainly not be any accidents. Hmmm Is this some sort of tax right-off?

windykites1
13th October, 2010 @ 05:09 pm PDT

The Lexus simulator may not be that bad, but I have been far more impressed by the Mercedes Benz driving simulator. In my opinion it even beats NADS-1.

Check out the video of the Benz simulator posted in the CCM News website, and you will understand what I am talking about.

Zack201101
19th November, 2010 @ 04:12 am PST

The simulator and the dude driving it in the commercial are both the bomb!!!

Jonathan Fritz
15th December, 2010 @ 05:05 pm PST

Mercedes Benz have the most advanced car simulator ,

http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1050172_mercedes-benz-unveils-high-tech-driving-simulator

Lexus you are bad copier

Mojtaba Sadeh
6th July, 2011 @ 12:45 pm PDT
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