Picture of a woman using TRL's blind spot simulator

TRL develops blind spot simulator for designers and investigators

Published:  18 October, 2017

A blind spot simulator rig which uses virtual reality to improve the design of truck cabs and road lay-outs and help accident investigators, has been developed by TRL, the centre of innovation in transport and mobility.

The precision of the system is based on a physical rig developed and calibrated by TRL in collaboration with Volvo to ensure a highly accurate representation of direct vision from a real-life Volvo vehicle cab.

The rig allows all combinations of seat and steering wheel adjustments available in a real-life vehicle to be accurately replicated for each driver. The virtual reality experience is then reconfigured for each driver to reflect their physical dimensions and their individual seating positions.

The resulting VR experience is an accurate reproduction of the view they would see when driving a real vehicle.

Ceki Erginbas, senior researcher at TRL, said: ‘VR technology is increasingly being used throughout the industry to create immersive visual experiences.

‘However, immersion or high-quality computer graphics does not necessarily mean accuracy. We wanted to take VR technology one step further than just a visually appealing experience and create a scientific tool for virtual testing.

‘With this calibrated system, we can accurately test new vehicles or road designs without the need to physically build them. We can also accurately recreate traffic accidents, from the viewpoint of different people located at the scene.

‘By offering this unique virtual testing system, not only are we aiming to improve safety for vulnerable road users but also to help reduce costs for designers, contractors and manufacturers as they can detect vision problems early in the design stage, saving them from high reconstruction costs.’

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