Is it just us, or are we as drawn to car simulators as we are to the real thing? We’re sure we speak for the rest of you as well. We’re sure you’ve had your fair share of sleepless nights playing Gran Turismo or Need for Speed. What we’re about to share with you is definitely something you haven’t, and will likely never be able to, try out. It’s Mercedes-Benz’s latest technological innovation in the race towards building the perfect automobile—a professional driving simulator.
This simulator uses a 360-degree range of landscape imagery as well as twelve meters of rail for transverse motion. We’re sorry to disappoint you by saying this isn’t a racing simulator. What it is, rather, is a research simulator to enable Mercedes-Benz engineers to study driver and vehicle behavior without risk of injury or accident.
Looking at the simulator from the outside, it’s like a hexapod cell with a real live Mercedes-Benz vehicle inside. It stands on six mobile mounting legs that supports the full weight of the simulator, including the vehicle. Inside, a 360-degree projection screen brings to life traffic scenes complete with oncoming vehicles, walking pedestrians and urban landscapes.
Everything that happens inside the simulator is recorded by a supercomputer that’s capable of calculating data over 1,000 times per second. Whatever the driving situation inside is felt by the test driver as if he or she were driving under real road conditions.
Drifting? We’re not entirely sure if the simulator is capable of creating lateral G’s. In any case, check out the video and be amazed. Because it’s the closest you’ll ever get to this piece of expensive equipment.