As the luckless inventor of interactive video (at least when it comes to car shows), I usually avoid electronic attractions. But then, amongst TTAC’s Best and Brightest is Perisoft, developer of bitchen race simulators, and I absolutely had to test-drive the thing. If you are at the Shanghai Auto Show, it is at the Ford booth, in the left corner. Perisoft can remote into the machine from the U.S. to China, and we discussed cheating enhancing the performance of the simulator. We dropped the idea, because we didn’t want Perisoft to lose future business.
The simulator consists of three screens (made by Dell) and a cab that moves around. There also is a button that says “Motion Stop” – in case you get car sick, I guess. Before they let you drive, you need to sign a release form bigger than what I signed when I drove offshore race boats – a truly murderous undertaking at times.
The simulator would rank big in NHTSA’s database, would it go into the wild. There is no shifter, there is a gas pedal and a brake pedal. However, when you stomp on the brake, the car goes into reverse. A bit counterproductive.
The brains of the machine sit in a huge travel case with three screwdrivers on top of it. Hmmm.
When I started the thing, it crashed. The technicians in attendance perused keyboard and screwdrivers, and the machine rebooted.
Finally, I could race around the course. The guy before me had gone into the weeds and drove through spectators picnicking on the side of the racecourse. Something I tried to avoid.
I finished the course in 126.20 seconds. The technicians in attendance said: “Very good.”
I answered “you say that to all the guys,” collected my belongings and left.
I called Mr. Perisoft and he graciously opined that the time of the guy in front of me must not have been erased (it was) and that he had finished the course in 40 seconds. He extended a standing invitation to Jack Baruth to beat that. I don’t know what Jack would do, but I won’t floor the gas of a machine that goes in reverse when I hit the brake.