Lexus Deploys Oculus Rift to Simulate Test Drives

Lexus_RCF_Rift_Front AngleCar manufacturer Lexus is using Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets to enable consumers to test drive its newest car before its even been built.

Lexus and its advertising agency Team One have developed a motion-controlled driving simulator using the Oculus Rift DK 2 which recreates the experience of driving its upcoming 2015 RC F Sports coupe.

The RC F Rift simulator resembles an arcade driving game, with participants positioned behind an actual RC F steering wheel and foot pedals, and using the Oculus Rift viewer to create an immersive environment and recreation of the vehicles interior. The simulator enables users to take the RC F for a test drive around famous racetracks like the Fuji Speedway, all before the actual car is manufactured.

“What do you do when the production models arent yet available? Develop a motion-controlled driving simulator using Oculus Rift DK2,” said Will Nicklas, corporate manager for Lexus Marketing, Planning and Communications. “Lexus built the 360-degree virtual environment from scratch in less than eight weeks to make it the first simulator to utilise ORs Development Kit 2.”

The simulator will be traveling to car industry shows in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Detroit following its recent premiere at the Orange County Auto Show, with the 2015 Lexus RC F hitting showroom floors early next month.