Cruden built their first professional-grade motorcycle simulator in 2005. Since that time they have been working on a range of hardware and software to create the most accurate motorcycle simulator possible for use by manufacturers, universities, race team and road safety organisations. To do this, they have leveraged the power of virtual reality (VR) along with state-of-the-art engineering.
Vehicle simulators have been around for quite some time, from the basic driving simulators used in a lot of driving testing centres to check a new driver’s awareness of hazards and signage, to the high-grade flight simulators used by commercial and military aircraft pilots. As noted by Cruden, simulating motorcycles comes with its own set of unique challenges, since the action of riding a motorcycle is far more of a physical experience that driving a car, since shifting the centre of balance and ‘counter-steering’ are both things that are required for riding a motorcycle, and not easy to replicate with a standard simulator.
With any kind of motorcycle simulator, a very wide field of view is needed, and expensive proposition if a projector screen is used as in car simulators, so Cruden instead decided to go down the virtual reality route, and use a VR head mounted display (HMD) to give an unlimited field of view and create more of a sense of immersion so the rider feels like they are on a real bike.
Cruden also recorded 3D audio of a Yamaha R6 and Ducati 848 Evo to create even more realism for their custom Panthera simulation software, which is closely integrated with the B306-HMD simulator rig and the VR headset.
A video demonstrating the simulator is available to view below. Further information, is available on the Cruden website.
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