Oculus Rift shows (virtual) reality of car crashes

NRMA Insurance opens Crashed Car Showroom in Sydney

  • NRMA Insurance has combined Oculus Rift virtual reality with a physical hydraulics system for a simulation that's both fun and frightening.

  • The author of this article (pictured) marvels at his virtual-reality arms.

  • We swear that the car used in the simulation was damaged before we arrived.

  • The Crashed Car Showroom is located on York St in the Sydney CBD. You won't find new cars sold here.

  • On the show floor.

  • In addition to crash test simulation, the showroom features a distracted driving test that uses eye-tracking software to test whether users can hold their attention on the road while driving 60km/h – even when an SMS suddenly comes in.

  • The test attempts to fool the user into answering their text message. Fail to keep your eyes on the road and the test comes to a crashing halt.

  • Another area of the exhibit projected images on a car showing damage caused by a crash.

  • This Peugot was sawed into three pieces to show various safety features.

  • Each part of the car is embedded with Near Field Communications (NFC) chips that can load video on interested users' smartphones.

  • Car lovers may wish to look away.

  • A hail gun lets the driver switch places and see weather damage from the angry storm cloud's perspective.

  • Turns out shooting ice at a car door is a blast.

  • Besides safety technology, the showroom boasts some pretty brutal crash damage.

  • Airbags: before, during and after.

  • A video demonstrated autonomous car technology.

  • NRMA head of research, Robert McDonald, says interactivity is key to teaching people about car safety.

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