Castrol have launched their latest Titanium Trial today which sees Formula Drift racer Matt Powers go head-to-head with former-stig and sportscar racer Ben Collins in a unique mixture of real life racing and a virtual reality world.
The race physically took place in LA in two 2015 V8 Ford Mustangs, this is where the reality ends and the virtual part comes in to play… both drivers wore state-of-the-art Oculus Rift Kit 2 headsets during the competition and all they could see is the virtual race track featuring an evolving terrain of sheer drops and twists and turns.
This follows on from the #VirtualDrift trial that Powers took part in May but with the added competition from Collins rather than a virtual opponent.
“I have taken on some extraordinary driving trials in my career, but this was certainly way up there.” said Collins after the challenge. “The hardest part was getting used to the VR world and truly letting myself go – putting my foot down and trusting my instinct over my rational brain.
“It’s hard when every bone in your body is telling you that what you can see isn’t real, but you know you’re still in control of a real car driving at speed. But with Castrol EDGE I knew the oil would be up to the job.”
Powers clearly enjoyed the challenge as he enthused “I loved putting on my Castrol EDGE headset again and it was mind-blowing to race driving legend Ben as if we were on the same otherworldly racetrack. I was devastated to lose first place in the last few seconds, I’d certainly be up for a rematch, that’s for sure.”
The basis for the virtual world was created over 3 months by LA based duo, Adam Amaral and Glenn Snyder who were delighted to see their creation come to life.
“The really exciting thing about this project is that Castrol EDGE are using the same technology that the big automotive manufacturers are utilising for autonomous cars but taking this in a new direction by fusing it with the virtual world to create something totally unique and ground-breaking, pushing the boundaries of both gaming and racing.
“One of the biggest challenges of developing this live racing technology was to overcome the problem of latency and ensure that there is no need for recalibration when it comes to the racers tracking. What we have achieved is the closest VR technology can currently get to full immersion.”