Established in Riyadh in 2010, the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center aims at rationalizing the production and consumption of energy in order to increase efficiency in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It also unifies both governmental or non-governmental efforts in this field. The organization wants to ensure continued growth and survival, without adversely affecting the welfare of citizens.
Saudi Energy Efficiency Center
HTC Vive + steering wheel
VR drive simulator: Show people how to enjoy their cars responsibly
The client needed a VR drive simulator that would draw attention to the issue of car use, as well as highlight the ways to use cars responsibly/economically, through entertainment. The idea was that users should impersonate supercar drivers who can verify their driving skills when bypassing various obstacles.
The client’s mission states: Preserving the national wealth of energy sources in a way that supports the national economy and forces. The organization focuses on building awareness of the conscious and rational use of energy resources, on both micro and macro scale. The educational aspect is very important here, as well as the objective of presenting actual effects of negligence in this area.
For this reason, the client wanted to use VR technology, where users acquire practical knowledge through a gameplay experience.
Steering clear of obstacles
The biggest challenge was to find the most effective way to steer a car in the VR environment. We eventually chose a steering wheel, which made the entire VR drive simulator more realistic and quite intuitive at the same time.
The most important element in this project was to convey the message: ways to save energy and aspects of our behavior that have a negative impact in this regard.
The VR drive simulator was to be presented to customers living in the Arab countries. Therefore, we were supposed to design an environment that would reflect the specific road conditions there. This is why we created a city in the desert.
The user’s route runs across the city and its suburbs. In the urban area, there are tunnels, traffic lights and billboards, while outside the city the landscape is a desert with clouds of dust and sand scudding over the road. The obstacles appear at randomly chosen points, in the form of household appliances. The user is to cover the distance of three laps; each time, the level of difficulty increases. Having completed a lap, users receive both visual and sonic information in Arabic, which draws their attention to particular modules of the car.
Seeing your way clear to be economical
There is no better way to learn something than through an actual experience. And, since VR is capable of delivering lifelike experiences, a combination of educational value and VR technology brings the best possible results. The application we created helped the client achieve their goal of promoting social awareness in the field of rationalization and efficiency of energy consumption. The land transportation sector in Saudi Arabia suffers from excessive fuel consumption.
Our VR drive simulator is in line with the client’s objective of spreading a culture of energy consumption rationalization in general, and fuel consumption rationalization in particular.
The real-life challenges in Saudi Arabia that the VR drive simulator addresses are as follows:
There are no circumstances beyond your control
The VR driving app was designed for HTC Vive combined with a steering wheel controller. All features of the application were developed using Unity 3D on the basis of materials selected and provided by the client. Some minute modifications of the models were done in 3ds Max.