Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.
The Vayant is an affordable indoor car simulator designed to be paired with virtual reality headsets like the Rift from Oculus or the Vive from HTC. With it, you will be able to ride (or race) to any place, real or not, on Earth with your friends—without polluting the air, making noise, paying for gas or insurance and without leaving home.
Virtual reality is just around the corner, and it will create a shock wave in home entertainment. I think personal vehicle simulators paired with those devices will become a huge market too. The Vayant would make it possible to visit places and countries you've dreamed of from the perspective of a driver. It would also make it possible to conduct races with other drivers and link them to real Phantom 1 driverless racing car concepts. The concept name 'Vayant' comes from a French comic book series about car racing titled Michel Vaillant.
How it works
The Vayant's body could be made of plastic or a light composite material. Four actuators on the vehicle would simulate the up and down movement and leaning. I would approach D-BOX technologies to develop the mechanical system because they already make all sorts of automotive simulators. They have all the necessary expertise to integrate actuators, and they have a supplier network in place.
To integrate the Vayant in different games, I would approach companies like Sony and Microsoft who are major players in this industry. I would also contact Google because they will most probably create 3D footage of all the roads in the world, so incorporating that content for Vayant users would be a natural fit.
The real challenge will be to create a really low cost automotive simulator—something that would cost less than $5,000. It would need to fit in a living room and you would assemble it like an Ikea kit in under an hour. Options could be installed on the simulator like AC, heat, heated seats, and an excellent surround sound system.
What it's used for
Imagine if you could invite friends or fellow players to explore canyons in the Valles Marineris on Mars? Or take part in a car race with the best drivers in the world? You could even explore cities from across the globes in a Lamborghini, a pick-up truck or a tank.
The Vayant could simulate all those vehicles and extrapolate the view by using existing images collected by Google cars. You could also use the Vayant to test and feel the 2020 Cadillac models in a focus group at your local dealership.
In my opinion, the question is not if there is a market for powersports simulators, but rather who will seize it first?
The Vayant concept was developed in collaboration with Jan Bujnak, an industrial designer from the Slovak Republic. Bujnak graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and works as a freelance designer. He has also produced the concept images for the Typhon personal hovercraft and the Wemotaci hydrogen powered snowmobile.
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