Drive into the future with Windsor’s virtual reality cave

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Drive/Anushree Dave


In March 2018, Elaine Herzberg was pushing her bicycle across a four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck by an Uber test vehicle. The self-driving “autonomous” car that hit the 49-year-old victim was functioning in self-drive mode with a human operator sitting in the driver’s seat. Following the collision, Herzberg was taken to the hospital where she died of her injuries. Uber responded to the fatal incident by suspending tests of their self-driving vehicles in Tempe, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. 

There have always been Acritics of the self-driving car technology, where failures can be both expensive and dangerous. But after the incident in Arizona, the industry faced a push for safer testing from lawmakers and the general public. “When we looked at the regulatory framework in the U.S., we saw there was a lot of skepticism by the public around autonomous vehicles,” says Susan Anzolin, the executive director for the Institute of Border Logistics and Security. “There’s a real need to do a lot of testing before you can put these vehicles out on the road.” In order to make self-driving vehicles a reality in the future, developers need to prototype, design, and test cars using a real-life environment with room for error. 

The VR Cave—Canada’s largest virtual reality space for autonomous vehicles – makes it possible for companies to vigorously test product features without being a danger on the roads. Simulations with digital environments that accurately reflect real life gives people the ability to try new things and test out products at a much lower risk than doing it on real roads. Launched in May 2019, the three-dimensional space based at Windsor’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security allows developers to test and validate new and innovative product designs.  [ READ MORE ]