The US Army have previously been experimenting with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies for training and battlefield applications to aid the troops. Now Honeywell, working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies has completed research into use of a VR headset for use in military vehicles.
On an armoured military vehicle, windows are a point of weakness that often needs to be eliminated to ensure the safety of the soldiers inside. However this leaves the problem of how to steer when unable to see. Previously, this was done using a flat screen connected to external cameras. The new X-Vehicle VR technology allows for a richer 360-degree view for the vehicle driver.
“We leveraged our expertise in high-speed graphics processing, human factors design and display systems to create a virtual landscape that enables driving a windowless vehicle over actual terrain at operationally realistic speeds,” said Brian Aleksa, senior technical manager, Research & Development, Honeywell Aerospace. “After bringing a smart design to life with real-world testing, we’ve developed a windowless display that overcomes traditional challenges associated with motion sickness and eye strain. Our solution proves that a safer closed-cockpit experience is possible. There is plenty of future growth and potential application for this technology in both military and commercial markets.”
Testing of a windowless vehicle being driven using the VR system has been successfully completed, involving a fully enclosed vehicle being driven across a rugged off-road desert course with professional drivers controlling the vehicle at speeds of up to 35 MPH using the VR visor.
VRFocus will continue to report on new innovations in VR technology.