Recreating track laps virtually within the driving video game offers a new way to hone performance driving skills.
The popular racing simulator game Gran Turismo aims to provide the closest possible recreation of real track driving. Professional racers use it to train on and learn circuits and skilled players have even gone on to start real racing careers based on their experience competing virtually. Now Toyota and game developers Polyphony Digital are completing the circle, allowing Toyota 86 owners to recreate their real world drives within the Gran Turismo game.
The “Sports Drive Logger,” an on-board telemetry recording device was designed specifically for use in the Toyota “86″ sports car (the Japanese version of the Scion FR-S, Subaru BR-Z). There are already a range of aftermarket telemetry recording devices available but Sports Drive Logger was designed to be easy to use and is the first that displays information through a video game interface.
The logger collects data passing through the vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) and also positional data from its dedicated GPS, and formats the data for easy copying to USB memory. CAN data can include GPS data, accelerator pedal strokes, steering angles, brake operation signals, shift operation signals, engine speed and vehicle speed.
Driving can be simply watched and analyzed within the game from the multitude of camera angles. Drivers will also have the ability to race against themselves or their friends’ real world data in any of Gran Turismo’s virtual cars. Drivers will also be able to compare their own driving data against laps from professional drivers within the game to improve their acceleration, braking and cornering technique.
The Sports Drive Logger is available in Japan and initially works at the Fuji Speedway International Racing Course, the Tsukuba Circuit 2000 Course, and the Suzuka Circuit International Racing Course. More circuits are planned to be added in the future and while international support hasn’t been announced, the GT 86 is sold in the US and Europe so the possibility exists.