Don’t try this at home: Renault and Ubisoft let drivers enjoy in-car VR experience


French video game publisher Ubisoft has announced a partnership with another French giant, Renault, to develop a virtual reality experience for an autonomous vehicle. An experiment designed specifically for use in an autonomous Renault concept vehicle, namely the Symbioz Demo Car project, announced back in September 2017.

For the time being, the VR experience proposed by Ubisoft is being tested on a portion of the motorway, located about 100 kilometers north of Paris, where Renault is conducting road tests for its Symbioz demo vehicle. So this is a prototype running in real conditions, that could be integrated into Renault vehicles in the near future.

As for the game publisher, Ubisoft has developed a virtual reality experience that invites the driver to escape and let go to illustrate the concept of “mind-off” when he decides to entrust driving to the autonomous Renault system. Symbioz Demo Car. The demo gradually takes the driver on a realistic representation of the vehicle and the road towards an exploration of the future and surreal landscapes.

We don’t say that the idea of wearing a VR headset in a real car is not a fascinating concept, but definitely one that could be dangerous with presen technologies, so you should not try it while driving.

The VR software is connected to the car and reproduces in real time the speed and movements of the vehicle, the lane changes and displays a virtual version of the surrounding vehicles, making the trip unique to each ride while enhancing the immersion and the feeling of escape. According to the project creators, the driver can let go and get away from the constraints of the road, ” to forget that he is in a car on the highway .” which sounds horribly terrifyiong by the way.

” Our partnership with the Renault Group is a great example of the video game industry’s contribution beyond the boundaries of entertainment, ” said Deborah Papiernik, senior vice president at Ubisoft.

As interesting – or horrifying – as the concept is, whether or not Ubisoft and Renault’s concept of in-car VR ever makes its way to reality remains to be seen.