Castrol makes a driver burn rubber whereas sporting a VR headset
You’d assume that blinding knowledgeable driver with a customized Oculus Rift headset as they drift round a reside monitor can be a loopy strategy to promote something. And you would be proper. However, nicely, Castrol actually needs you to find out about its new EDGE Titanium Robust motor oil. A lot in order that it strapped a VR headset on racer Matt Powers and turned a Roush Stage three Mustang right into a VR controller for its Digital Drift Trial. From his perspective he is navigating via an apocalyptic VR panorama with crumbling roads and tidal waves of volcanic rock. From ours, it is as if he is acquired a demise want like an additional from Mad Max: Fury Street.
Positive, the ultimate product seems like an orgy of Adobe After Results and Michael Bay’s motion film aesthetic. However after sitting by way of a quick demo of the VR expertise on Samsung’s Gear VR, it is fairly clear that Digital Drift is extra than simply particular results. The VR demo put me within the passenger seat as Powers made his approach across the monitor, continuously switching between the VR and actual-world view. (You will get an analogous expertise with this 360-diploma video clip.) Sadly, I wasn’t capable of change between the 2 views on the fly, however Castrol reps stated they could have one thing like that within the works for later this yr.
Castrol tapped technologists Adam Amaral (he is the man within the passenger seat) and Glenn Snyder to construct a brand new expertise to point out off its Titanium Robust oil again in November. By December, they have been dedicated to the thought of mixing an actual-world racing and VR expertise. And are available February, they have been able to movie. That is a reasonably quick turnaround for any tech venture, not to mention one which has drivers drifting round tracks at excessive speeds whereas blind to the actual world. “It is a massive belief train,” Snyder stated.
To energy the entire expertise, Snyder and Amaral mixed an Oculus Rift DK2 headset with a standard racing helmet and constructed a server crammed with NVIDIA GTX 980 video playing cards, which sat within the trunk of the automotive. They developed Digital Drift in Unreal Engine four, relying closely on NVIDIA’s PhysX engine to get the physics good. There have been additionally a plethora of sensors throughout the automotive feeding into the PhysX engine. Testing concerned loads of lengthy nights in deserted parking tons with a rented Mustang (simply attempt explaining that to the cops).
On the finish of the day, Castrol and crew ended up making a cool movie trailer to promote their fancy new oil. However the one means they will exhibit the complete extent of the Digital Drift expertise is by giving individuals an opportunity to see it in VR. Castrol says it plans to place it on the Oculus Retailer ultimately (which can also be accessible on the Gear VR), however for now you possibly can take a look at the 360-diploma video to get a style.