Volvo uses gaming technology to improve vehicle safety

Volvo is utilising technology normally reserved for video games to help it further its development of car safety systems.

It combines virtual reality systems – such as a VR headset and a ‘Teslasuit’ – with actual test cars to simulate real-world situations in total safety.

It means that engineers can duplicate traffic conditions or even animals crossing the road, which the driver of the car ‘sees’ through the headset. This image is projected ‘onto’ the car and the road ahead, giving the impression of a driving scenario.

Casper Wickman, senior leader of user experience at Volvo’s Open Innovation Arena, said: “Working together with great companies such as Varjo, Unity and Teslasuit has allowed us to test so many scenarios that look and feel totally real, without having to physically build anything.

“It lets us test drive actual cars in traffic scenarios that look and feel real but can be adjusted at the touch of a button.”

Volvo safety tech
Volvo safety tech

The full ‘Teslasuit’ body outfit features haptic technology which can track how the driver responds to a certain situation. It can also replicate certain muscle reactions, such as when a driver is experiencing an emergency stop. These virtual and mixed-reality tests allow Volvo to develop safety systems without risking harm to the driver or damage to the car.

Wickman added: “By using this cutting-edge technology, we are exploring and leading the development for creating safe cars in the future. It’s great to play a part in that.”