Ford has unveiled a virtual reality experience for young drivers that displays what can happen on the road when they aren’t concentrating whilst driving.
Called ‘Ford Reality Check’ the carmaker has partnered with technology giant Google and virtual reality design studio Happy Finish to create the project, which displays what can happen if you’re distracted behind the wheel.
Using a Google Daydream VR headset, users are cast as a driver picking up friends going to a party, with instant messages, phone calls and the passengers chatting loudly in the background. Each of those distractions cause a near-miss, before the experience ends in a fatal accident, which the driver was at fault for.
The Daydream handset is an integral part of the experience along with the headset, as it is displayed as a mobile in virtual reality and is a true distraction to the driver.
This comes following statistics by the European Commission that 3,600 young people are killed in traffic accidents across the continent – two thirds of which are drivers.
Jim Graham, manager of Ford Driving Skills for Life, said: “Being involved in a car crash can be a life-changing experience – and sadly, for too many young people, one that cuts lives tragically short. We hope that by providing a chilling glimpse of how easily this could actually happen, we will encourage young people to drive more safely.”
He added: “Virtual reality is the ideal medium to highlight the dangers of distracted driving to young motorists. This age group is more likely to engage with VR, and studies suggest immersive experiences in virtual worlds can positively influence behaviours in the real world too.”
Happy Finish’s Daniel Cheetham said: “With Ford Reality Check, we have created a safe environment in which to fail – and to learn. It’s one thing to show an educational film to young drivers; it’s another thing entirely to immerse them in its reality. However, we are sure all drivers will benefit from this experience."
Ford Reality Check will be showcased at Ford’s Driving Skills for Life event on November 17,18 and 19 at the ExCel Arena, London.