VR headset immerses viewer in dangerous driving reality

12th July 2017
Alice Matthews

At London’s TechXLR8 show, Leicestershire police demonstrated its VR car safety headset. In an effort to effectively engage with local communities, the force invested in a road safety initiative using the latest technology on the market, to produce a 360° film, watched through VR headsets. The VF4360 is the latest development of Leicestershire police’s Virtual Fatal Four (VF4) road safety education package, aimed at reducing deaths and serious injuries in young drivers. 

Developing the concept of an experience inside a crash simulator VF4 car, the VF4360 experience takes immersive education to a whole new level using VR.

The force claim to be the first fire and rescue service in the UK and Europe to adopt this latest technology for this kind of work. Following the launch of its first VR film, Leicestershire police received huge interest and the film is now used in America, Australia, Dubai, Germany, Guernsey and Ireland.

During the five minute film showcased at TechXLR8, the viewer finds themselves sitting in the passenger seat of a car driving down a country lane. The passengers attempt to show the driver certain pictures on their mobile phones, resulting in the car crashing into a tractor. In the aftermath of the crash, graphic images of each passenger’s injuries are shown.

Due to the nature of VR, no two user experiences will be the same. The viewer chooses where to look and what to listen to, creating a realistic, unique experience. For the length of time the film plays the viewer is completely unaware of their external surroundings or anyone watching them.

VR can be so convincing that once immersed, viewers can often be seen interacting with VR situations; verbally and physically, because they believe what they are experiencing is actually happening to them.

Leicestershire police have chosen to implement the VR software to engage with new and young drivers in a more realistic and effective way which in turn, will hopefully lead to more, safer new drivers on the roads in the future.

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