In what can only be truly described as a strange, but cool, use of Japanese virtual reality technology, Nissan and video game purveyor Namco Bandi have teamed up to bring you at CEATEC Japan 2010 a driving simulator that lets one experience “the near future of Yokohama City, in virtual reality, where a Smart Grid is in place.” CEATEC showcases cutting-edge electronic and information technologies and will be happening Oct. 5-9.
The Nissan/Namco Bandai offering is said to represent “the near-future Yokohama City based on the ‘Yokohama Smart City Project,’ a venture to realize a low-carbon city. The simulator produces an ultra high-definition 3D image with pixels approximately four times larger than the full high-definition image.” It is said up to four people can use the simulator at the same time as it renders “road structure, buildings and facilities without any restrictions, so changes of the city landscape and functions caused by the introduction of the Smart Grid can be studied multilaterally and experientially.”
A couple of things aren’t immediately clear from the development of this “smart grid” simulator. First, and mainly, can we get this as a video game please? Next, will you be driving a Nissan Leaf through this? What is interesting to note, according to Nissan, is that this is “the world’s first system in which a number of vehicles can travel simultaneously and interactively in a diorama using the ultra high-definition 3D image.” Whether or not it is actually useful remains to be seen, but it will be exhibited alongside other smart grid companies at CEATEC, so maybe the eye candy factor will draw over a few extra people over to the greater display. We’d certainly love to check it out if it ever goes on tour.