Toyota creates Oculus Rift demo to teach teenagers about road distractions

15 Jan 2015

Toyota is attempting to teach teenagers about the pitfalls of driving with distracting passengers and devices with a new simulator to be played with an Oculus Rift headset.

Known as TeenDrive365, the system is designed to give teenagers a sense of how annoying and distracting it is to be a driver while hearing blabbering from your friends, reading text messages and playing music in the car.

The person taking part in the simulator is placed inside stationary vehicle with a driver seat and pretends to drive around while wearing the virtual reality (VR) headset and navigating their way through a busy city.

Among the distractions included in the demo is their rear passenger telling the driver to keep checking their phone for directions and their side passenger continuously changing the radio.

The driver will also be wearing headphones in order to create as much of an immersive experience as possible and such future simulators will no doubt include the next generation of Oculus Rift headsets, due to receive a major audio hardware update.

The demo is now likely to be brought to different educational events across the US throughout the year, but Toyota has not said whether it intends to take it international.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic