It might look like something out of a science fiction movie, a flight simulator for an advanced spacecraft of sorts. But, inside this white dome in a hanger at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, is something just as high-tech, but with a more down-to-earth aim.
It is the world's most advanced driving simulator, which is designed to replicate the sensation of sitting behind the wheel of a car. It is part of Toyota's research into reducing road accidents. The simulator is designed to replicate the sensation of sitting behind an actual wheel of a car in real-time.
The dome itself, which acts as a giant 360-degree video screen, can be moved via precision computer control around any given area, which is the size of four tennis courts. It simulates a real driving experience that includes a sense of speed, acceleration and riding comfort with sound effects thrown in to complete the virtual driving experience.
But for the engineer's at Toyota Motor Corp, their new machine is anything but a toy. It is the culmination of a four-year project to build the world's most realistic driving simulator.
The simulator consists of a real car positioned on a mechanical platform inside a 7.1-meter dome. And, although it would be a great platform for testing the latest version of Gran Turismo, Toyota plans to use the driving simulator to analyse the driving characteristics under certain conditions.
Have a look at the video below to find out more.