Toyota Launches Virtual Reality Headset to Teach About the Dangers of Distracted Driving

What’s it like to be a distracted driver? We all know. But, do we know?

This week Toyota announced that they have launched their 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.

“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.

To experience the new Toyota TeenDrive365 simulator, drivers 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, drivers 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. If a driver loses focus, they’ll experience the consequences of distracted driving within the virtual setting.

How does it work?

  • 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 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 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 Events.TeenDrive365.com.

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