Volvo Uses VR in Autonomous Safety Research

Volvo is using development tools and hardware from the gaming world as part of new research intended to improve self-driving car safety.

Volvo is using a mix of VR hardware and the Unity real-time rendering software in driveable test cars. These models are being run on a closed test tracks to safely simulate real world driving scenarios.

This new project is an arm of a partnership between Volvo and the Finnish VR hardware company Varjo. Last year they made it possible to drive a real car with a mixed reality headset.

The project members have added a full body haptic suit. This allows for precise motion tracking. The suit can also cause muscle restriction in the wearer as they would experience in a real emergency stop.

This hardware has been incorporated into a group of XC90 SUVs and stationary simulators. In the actual vehicles overlays a virtual images on top of the real world. So, the system can simulate an animal crossing the road.

The project is only in the early stages and hasn’t yet produce findings that will be used in production cars.