Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it has developed a world-class driving simulator for effectively analyzing the driving characteristics of average drivers to aid in the development and verification of traffic accident-reducing active safety technology.
The driving simulator, located at TMC's Higashifuji Technical Center in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, uses video, an acceleration simulator and other technology that allows vehicle researchers and developers to conduct driving tests that would be too dangerous to perform in the real world or that require specific driving conditions. Providing one of the world's most-realistic simulated driving environments, it is designed to offer a driving experience that is as real as possible, so that driving characteristics can be accurately gauged.
Key to this virtual reality is the use of an actual vehicle placed on a platform housed inside a 7.1-meter-diameter dome, the ceiling of which serves as a giant 360-degree concave video screen. As the driver operates the vehicle, a tilt device, vibration apparatus and other devices manipulate the dome—which has a world top-class longitudinal range of movement of 35 meters and lateral range of movement of 20 meters—under precision computer control. The result is a faithful simulation of the actual sensation of driving, including a sense of speed, acceleration and riding comfort through turns and other driving maneuvers. Sound effects make the experience even more real.
Based on the Integrated Safety Management Concept, which lays out the direction of the company's safety technology and vehicle development, TMC plans to put the driving simulator to full use in advancing R&D not only for on-board vehicle safety systems, but also for systems that support safe driving practices and integrate cars with the road infrastructure.
The driving simulator will mainly be used for:
Driving Simulator Specifications