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Volvo mixes virtual with real-world testing

Testing car design or trying to train drivers with computer simulation, has not had the real feel of driving a car.

Volvo test drivers are now getting behind the virtual wheel, wearing a full-body haptic suit and a mixed-reality headset

Haptic means relates to a sense of feel and haptic feedback creates the illusion of feeling an object of a force within the virtual world. “Feeling” the steering wheel or a seat that simulates the sideways force when driving around a corner for example.

Volvo has real images of roads, road signs and nature, that they can then add in virtual objects such as other cars, wild animals, or pedestrians, to test driver reactions.

The full-body suit has 10 inertial sensors and bio-sensing which can measure user’s stress levels, heartbeat and eye movement, to give a good understanding of how the user is feeling in a certain traffic or safety situation.

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