VR Makes Prominence at Chicago Motor Shows
We all know that VR is set to conquer the gaming stage. But it also serves a purpose as a tool to promote cars and motorcycles. There are two motor shows held in Chicago right now that feature virtual reality in some of their demos. First off, the annual Chicago Auto Show, slated for 14-22 of February, is the biggest car show in the United States held at McCormick Place in Chicago, and it attracts many people interested in the world of cars. Many car manufacturers from around the world are attending the said event to lure customers to buy one of their products. One notable company in the auto fair is the Japan-based car maker Toyota, which introduced virtual reality in their car simulation demos to customers.
Termed by Toyota as “TeenDrive365”, the driving simulator driven by virtual reality is a cool demo on the exhibition floor of the Chicago Auto Show. For the attendees to experience it, they just need to strap an Oculus Rift VR headset onto their heads, and in an instant, they are being taken to the driver’s seat of a Toyota vehicle as if they are taking it for a test drive. Initially, the car company intended to make this virtual reality demo as an awareness campaign targeted at teenagers to drive more responsibly, yet Toyota used the VR demo to promote one of their products instead, the Toyota Camry sedan.
To complement the Oculus Rift headset is a comfortable seat, taken from a real Camry, for the attendees to seat on while experiencing the VR car demo. The demo works just like a test drive: the person wears the Oculus Rift, and by a step on the gas pedal, the VR headset reacts to the acceleration. It goes the same for braking. With the Oculus Rift, the TeenDrive365 VR demo is able to provide a 360-degree head tracking for an accurate virtual view of the car’s interior as well as the outside environment.
Another auto show within the Chicago area, the Chicago Progressive International Motorcycle Show, is currently happening at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center until February 15. Similar to the Chicago Auto Show, this event has its own demos that feature the latest and greatest motorcycles in the world. Virtual reality has also made its way to the event courtesy of Victory Motorcycles. The big bike company has also used the Oculus Rift in its motorcycle demo, featuring a virtual drive along the terrain of Sturgis, South Dakota. The company is the first motorcycle company to make use of VR in promoting their products. The VR demo fully simulates a real motorcycle driving experience: it features the recorded audio of the bike’s engine, 3D graphics featuring Sturgis, and the user is able to throttle the motorcycle as well.