The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) recently announced the opening of its ‘Visualisation Laboratory’ where virtual reality (VR) technology will be used to help generate innovation and overcome problems in the UK’s transport network.
The TSC is utilising VR to enable engineers and designers the ability to physically walk though cities and towns, virtually, so that they will be able to test new services and ideas without building costly prototypes. The lab uses numerous different systems to make the VR as immersive as possible, including the Omnifinity Omnideck 6 which is a 6 meter wide omnidirectional treadmill that is combined with an Oculus Rift DK2 head-mounted display (HMD) to allow users to walk, jump and even crawl around the VR world because the Omnideck6 was originally designed for use by the military for infantry training.
Eurotransport Magazine spoke with Graham Fletcher, Modelling and Visualisation Director at TSC, he said: “We see huge potential for virtual reality technology to help solve the UK’s transport problems at a lower cost and without the associated risks of testing new technology in a live environment. The Omnideck Treadmill and virtual reality equipment we have installed here at the TSC is totally unique in the UK and will allow businesses to experiment, develop and demonstrate new technologies in a new and inspirational way.”
The ‘Visualisation Laboratory’ can also be hired by businesses associated with the transport sector looking to experiment and develop ideas. The cost to access and use the floor is £500 GBP per day, this covers the costs of the technicians to configure and operate the floor and general troubleshooting. Or if you’re planning an event there, the floor can be booked for £120 GBP per hour.
VRFocus will continue to follow all the latest announcements regarding VR as the technology develops.