United 3D Labs has developed an interactive VR train cab driving simulator. Now any visitor of Moscow Central Diameters (MCD) promo pavilion in Moscow can become a driver of a high-speed “Ivolga” train and take a ride along the first two cross-city lines of MCD rail network.

Have you ever been in a train driver’s cabin? Do you know how it functions? Now visitors of the MCD promo pavilion have got a chance not only to see but also learn what it feels like to be a driver of the modern “Ivolga” train. There is a virtual reality train driver simulator, which is located in a life-size model of the train.

Please, make yourself comfortable in the driver’s seat. The train speeds up as you move the control handle forward. The express train will rapidly bring you past stations and different landscapes. At the same time, you have a choice: first of all, you can observe the urban views followed by scenery summer forest at daylight. The images are projected on the windshield and side windows. There are four ultra-short throw projectors that deliver vibrant realism. If you put on HTC Vive VR headset, you will find yourself in a virtual cabin riding along the night routes of the first two cross-city lines of the MCD rail network.

The boundaries between the real and virtual worlds are getting blurred nowadays. 360-degree camera was installed on a train windshield. This way we were able to film the surrounding landscapes in 6K resolution during the day and at night. Then the footage was processed and stitched to get the video files corresponding to the image on the windshields and two side windows of the driver’s cab.

Virtual cab is worked out to a tiny detail: it is absolutely no different from the real one. Using the driver’s handle you can change the speed of the train as well as select the desired route: you can ride along MCD-1 (from Odintsovo to Lobnya) or MCD-2 (from Nakhabino to Podolsk). The content in the VR headset is fully synchronized with the projections on the windshields.

The interactive installation is developed with Ventuz real-time visualization system, Unity, OSC and Arduino game engine. Quite a cocktail we should say but it was worth the effort. Guests of the pavilion are thrilled to try it.

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