Can there be a No-Accident Car?
Perhaps, yes. Automaker Lexus is working on an idea of a future car that will never have an accident. The company is using an advanced driving simulator to enable its engineers to design technology that will help make driving safer.
“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,” states Dave Nordstrom, vice president of marketing for Lexus.
“It’s a real-life example of our innovation and dedication to bringing customers the future first.”
The driving simulator is installed at 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.
This is no video game, says the company. 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.
The simulator allows Lexus to conduct ongoing testing to learn about driver behaviors and reaction times, to engineer active safety features that will help protect people on the road.
Not only does Lexus test for traditional traffic incidents, but they also conduct testing that determines driver response while distracted by technology such as text messaging, navigation systems and car warnings and displays.
Testing is also conducted on drowsy driving and poor visibility. Simulation of driving scenarios allows the engineers to analyze driver reactions before an accident to determine what technology could assist in helping to prevent future accidents.
Lexus hopes it will help move us toward a future where there are no accidents.
The new TV spot featuring the simulator titled, “It’s Out There,” debuted Monday, Oct. 11.
The commercial can be viewed at YouTube.com/lexusvehicles and will air on network and cable outlets, including DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket and online full episode players.
The campaign will also be featured in an outdoor, print, mobile, emerging media and online banner campaign, as well as partnerships with Yahoo!, The New York Times, CNN, Pandora, YouTube and Facebook.