Shanghai Auto Show: Test-driving Perisoft's WRC Sim

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
shanghai auto show test driving perisoft s wrc sim

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.

Join the conversation
4 of 8 comments
  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Apr 22, 2011

    It just so happens that I shot 3D video of Ford's WRC simulator at the NAIAS in January. So that Bertel, Perisoft and the rest of the B&B can enjoy it, I've posted it on Cars In Depth here.

    BTW, the YouTube 3D player also has a 2D mode, so even if you don't have 3D glasses, you can watch Perisoft and his colleagues' work in action.

    • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Apr 22, 2011

      Whoah, that's pretty cool! I really should get some 'real' red/blue 3D glasses, though. Every time I want to watch some of that stuff, I have to go up to the lab and jury rig stuff out of optical filters, so I end up looking like a cross between a steampunk villain, Mad Eye Moody, and Elton John.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 23, 2011

    I know a guy who lived down the street from a California DMV office. His car was hit three times in two years by DMV customers taking their road test, and he actually saw two neighbors' cars hit. It's pretty sad that some people can't travel a block without flunking their test, but these devices could serve DMVs everywhere for filtering purposes, and save a lot of sheet metal. I hope you can configure/market these to motor vehicle departments, and maybe high school driver education classes. When it comes to roadway safety, separating the wheat from the chaff should be the first order of business.

    • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Apr 25, 2011

      I agree, Lorenzo - but you can forget about driver ed in the US. The last driving school I saw was still using VHS tapes from about 1973 to do their 'training'. The guy on the tape said that it was important to explain carefully to women that seatbelts were important, because women worry that they won't be able to get free if they're knocked unconscious in an accident. The rest was worse. It was pretty horrifying. Anyway, these guys won't even spend money on a DVD player. Laying down 60 large for a motion platform when it gives them zero extra income? Ain't gonna happen. Legislation is the only way, and unless people in the US are prepared to pay more than a grand to get their licenses as in other places, you can forget about it. This is a country where people who support families of three on $30,000 a year are gung-ho for cutting their own services so they can give the money to people making twenty times as much as they do! Up-front money for better driver training can end up saving individuals money (and perhaps life and limb) after the first accident avoided. But long-term thinking seems to be considered socialism these days, no matter how pragmatic it is.

  • Tassos Is there any reason you could not put the ACTUAL 348 mile number in the TITLE of the damned article, so I would not need to read the whole thing to find out?
  • Tassos Honda is bleeding billions in order to keep this loser Acura alive.In the REST of the world, Identical vehicles to Acuras are just called HONDAS. Best example, the NSX! It was NEVER called an "acura" outside the US.
  • Cprescott Very expensive all terrain golf cart.
  • 56m65711446 ALL AEB systems should be tested using a SES executive from DoT as the test dummy.
  • TheMrFreeze Wife and I bought just bought new (to us) daily drivers...both have manual transmissions and neither has any kind of "new" safety nanny technology in it. By choice. That's how we roll.