Racing Simulator Cockpit of a Virtual Reality System for Formula 1 (F1)
Formula 1 or F1 sport is really exciting, isn’t it? When I was watching “Rush” movie recently, I kept thinking how it feels to train like the F1 professional driver. During the old days, they simulated it with the imagination inside their mind. Like how the legendary James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) did it in the film. Nowadays, the F1 superstar can sit inside the high tech racing simulator cockpit to train themselves in various track locations and conditions. Since the F1 player feel very immersive when they used the simulator, we can say that the racing simulator cockpit is part of the virtual reality system for the training purpose.
|Racing Simulator Cockpit of Evotek SYM 026 Simulators. (Image Courtesy of Evotek)|
How Racing Simulator Cockpit Works?
Well, basically the racing simulator cockpit consists of a few common items such as a real car seat, a steering wheel, pedals and large monitor. To make it more real, most of the times they add the chassis and car body as well. The simulator also can have the degree of freedom like roll, pitch and heave motion cues. This is for the purpose of reflecting how the car drivers experience on the tracks.
Most of the simulators used big, large monitor or screen as the display. Due to its size, the display need to be supported by monitor holders with base especially if the system combines three large screens together to support the left, middle and right view. Some advanced system used only one screen which looks like a long curved screen that can cover as much as 180 degrees viewing area.
The car seat is a very important attribute to racing simulator cockpit. The car seat material can be leather or carbon fibre. To mimic the real F1 scenario, in order for the driver to get into the simulator chassis, the steering wheel must be taken off the steering shaft first. It got a lot of control buttons on the steering wheel. Quite messy and confusing to me since I’m not an F1 driver…
Pedal set usually consists of the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal. The pedals usually can be adjustable in order to comfort the different users. The cockpit also requires actuators to support the motion mechanism of the simulator. Other hardware components are motion board to manage the motion system and steering force feedback and also graphic board to manage the graphic engine.
Another important aspect of this virtual reality system is the software. Without the software, it is like a body without soul. Example of the software is “Asetto Corsa“. It is a professional race car simulation software developed by Kunos Simulazioni. The graphic rendering of this software is based on the physics engine, 3D laser scans of real race tracks and the highly sophisticated mathematical tire model. The engine contains the important technical data based on real F1 race cars and environment such as braking, tire temperature, weight distribution, engine and gearshift parameters, suspension geometry and aerodynamic system. This criterias contributes to the full recreation of the driving conditions on the race tracks.
The seamless integration of the hardware and software provided the user with the realistic and immersive driving experience. Nowadays, not just the F1 drivers are interested in using this kind of system. It also becomes the main attraction to the public during the events, trade shows, expo and exhibition. Yeah, it works without fail as the attention seeker and marketing gimmick.
And also the hardcore race gamers will buy it for themselves to experience a more immersed gaming experience rather than using the traditional mouse and keyboard. For those who just want to try out, there are some options for them. One of it is the Playseat Redbull Racing F1. This product enables you to feel the thrill of driving a true F1 racing car.
|Playseat Redbull F1 Racing Simulator Cockpit|
I wish I can have one of this in my living room. This is just one of the scenario where the industry can reap the real benefit from a virtual reality system. For more info, you can visit:
1) Playseat Redbull Racing F1.
2) The Official Evotek Website.