Wednesday, May 9, 2012

UofM Driving Simulator

Okay...this post is nothing particularly special and may look like a bunch of junk to some.  A friend of mine works at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.  He invited me to stop by sometime to see their seating buck.  This is the 'car' they use in their testing.  They took a real car, cut everything off but the front seating area and hooked it to a bunch of computers.  There are three large screens used for video displays.  The instrument panel and controls can be set in different configurations, there is a computer to track where you're looking and a bunch of other stuff. 

I had a particular interest in it since they were using a 1st gen Dodge Daytona.  I wanted one of these when I was in high school and bought one in 2000.

In February he told me they were going to decommission the Daytona in preparation for a new model.  I got a chance to go see their setup and even got to 'drive' it a bit.

This is interior of the seating buck.  You can see that there is a lot of equipment  hooked up in the car.

Pulled back a bit.  You can see two of the three screens used.

What remains of the cabin of the car.  It was cut right behind the doors and the rear seats are not there.  The distinctive Daytona doors are obvious.

The hood was removed while I was there.  My friend wanted to rescue this for me, but it was disposed of before he got a chance to.

He did rescue this seat for me, though.  He said it is the original seat, and since there are rarely passengers in the car, it is virtually new. 

Monitors that observe the driver.

The command center of the operation.

All in all I'm glad I got a chance to see this before it was dismantled.

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