Taking the concept of a driving video game to all-new heights, the Irvine campus of the University of California has been working on what they call the OutRun Project. Yes, that’s based on the classic arcade title OutRun, but it does have noble intentions, setting out to create “gaming therapy” systems for quadriplegics.
Their latest creation: A combination electric golf cart plus arcade cabinet. It’s a driving game that you can really drive.
UC Irvine research scientist Garnet Hertz is the brains behind this one, and it really is a thing of beauty. While the screen in front of the driver may look like a typical level from OutRun, what you’re actually looking at is an interpretation of the real road in front of you. The cart features two forward-looking video cameras, which scan the environment surrounding the car, feeding that information to custom software, which analyses it and outputs the real-world road – in real-time – on the console’s screen, presented in the pixellated style we know and love.
However, it’s not without its problems. The OutRun Project currently cannot recognise other vehicles, pedestrians or moving objects, so it’s not quite road-safe just yet.
Still, it’s way cooler than a Gopher, right?
Thanks Brenna for the link!