“God I haven’t felt like that since my car crash”: Car crash victim at a VR demo of the virtual reality experience. Later he came back with his work colleagues insisting they try experience to see the dangers of falling asleep at the wheel, like he did.
Anyone who’s lived through a car crash knows it’s the most effective road safety lesson a person can ever have. The Irish Road Safety Authority’s driving based Virtual Reality project delivers that visceral impact without the devastation. Different simulations allow you to experience the dangers of using mobile phones while driving or falling asleep at the wheel.
Built in Unity, it’s a fully interactive driving simulator equipped with vibrating steering wheels, and sub-pacs to create a deeply immersive experience. So far, it’s had over 583,000 views on the RSA Shuttle bus, which is now booked out until the end of the year as it travels across the country to schools, colleges, live events and business districts. And for those who can’t visit the shuttle, a special version was built using Oculus Quest to directly target tired drivers at places like Service Stations, utilising Oculus’s intuitive controllers to act as a steering wheel, so it’s turned out to be one of Ireland’s most immersive high-end VR activations.
Most importantly, this innovative VR experience has already changed lives, saved lives and is inspiring tomorrow’s drivers to change their behaviour away from the dangerous driving trend that has emerged in recent years, with it contributing to Ireland winning the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Award in 2019. Proving that mediums like VR really can change behaviours and have a positive social impact on society. Long may it continue.