New Driving Simulator from Toyota TeenDrive365 Uses Oculus Rift to Bring Dangers of Distracted Driving To Life

Marks the First Time Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Technology Is Being Used to Educate The Public about Safe Driving

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 2/23/2015, 12:49 p.m.
Today at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota launched its new TeenDrive365 distracted driving simulator with Oculus Rift, marking the first ...
Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Marketing Director for Toyota

DETROIT (Jan. 14, 2015) – Today at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota launched its new TeenDrive365 distracted driving simulator with Oculus Rift, marking the first time the virtual reality technology is being used to educate the public – teens and parents alike – about the dangers of distracted driving. A video of the virtual reality experience can be found here – www.toyota.us/14WI1B9.

To experience the new Toyota TeenDrive365 simulator you get behind the wheel of a stationary Toyota car, put on the Oculus Rift headset and are fully immersed in a virtual reality driving experience, complete with the three dimensional sights and sounds of a busy city street. During the simulation, you are challenged to drive safely using the car’s steering wheel and pedals, while navigating a series of common distractions, including traffic noises, the radio, text messages and virtual friends who occupy the passenger and back seats. Lose your focus and you’ll experience the consequences of distracted driving within the virtual setting. But, hopefully, you’ll come away a little wiser about what it takes to be safe behind the wheel.

“Oculus Rift provides a virtual reality driving experience that mirrors real life behind the wheel, giving us a powerful, one-of-a-kind way to show parents and teens how everyday distractions can affect their ability to drive safely,” said Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Marketing Director for Toyota. “This is the most innovative example of how we’re helping teens and parents become safer drivers together through our ongoing Toyota TeenDrive365 initiative.”

Oculus Rift’s custom technology allows Toyota TeenDrive365 to offer a virtual experience that surpasses any other distracted driving simulation available to the public.

360° head tracking allows you to seamlessly look around. Every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real time creating a natural and intuitive experience.

Oculus Rift creates a 3D view with excellent depth and scale. Unlike 3D on a television or in a movie, this is achieved by presenting unique and parallel images for each eye. This is the same way your eyes perceive images in the real world, creating a much more natural and comfortable experience.

Oculus Rift also provides an approximately 100° field of view, stretching the virtual world beyond your peripheral vision.

RealSpace™ 3D Audio leverages world-class scientific discovery to add a third dimension to the sound you hear through the virtual placement of sound in 3-D space with pin-point accuracy, creating the perception of real source direction, distance, depth, and movement relative to the listener and heard through standard stereo headphones.

3D Audio recreates the auditory ambience of the environment, creating a complete immersive audio experience.

The new simulator is part of Toyota TeenDrive365 (www.TeenDrive365.com), a comprehensive initiative that offers online tools, expert advice, local events and social media elements to help parents model safer driving behaviors for their teens. The focus on parents as role models is based on research from a national study from Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) and UMTRI. The study found a significant correlation between how parents and their teens drive, suggesting that parents are the biggest influence on how a teen will behave behind the wheel.

Since Toyota TeenDrive365’s launch in November 2013, millions of people have engaged with its online and in-person resources. More than 10,000 have experienced the first iteration of its driving simulator, with nearly 80 percent saying they would reduce distractions because of the experience.

The new Toyota TeenDrive365 distracted simulator with Oculus Rift was developed by Brightline Interactive in partnership with 360i, and with support from The PEERS Foundation (Events).

The simulator will be available free of charge to the public at auto shows across the country. For a full list of dates, visit www.Events.TeenDrive365.com.

Toyota, the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25-million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants and directly employ more than 40,000 people. Our 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.

For more information, visit toyota.com