Loogootee hosts virtual reality driving simulator

LOOGOOTEE, Ind. (WTHI) – The stage of the high school auditorium is getting ready for the school play. But Tuesday folks from the PEERS foundation parked a Chevy car to take the spotlight.

Julie Piotrowski with the PEERS Foundation says, “We have kids sit in the car. In the real actual car and we place an augmented reality headset on their head. Once they have it on they’ll be inside a virtual city. They can see it out in front of their car and on both side views.”

It’s called Augmented Reality Distracted Driving Education Simulator…or ARDDES. Students drive at thirty miles per hour in the sim. All while they’re told what to do on their phone.

Piotrowski says, “Have them get on Snapchat or look up something on Google maps. Give them real-life situations and show them how quickly things can go wrong once they’re distracted on their cell phone.”

One of the students to buckle in was high school junior Trenton Clark.

Clark says, “You’re literally seeing like everything. And the wheel perception is like there is no power steering. It’s literally like your drunk or something like that. Or distracted. It’s crazy.”

Clark says the experience is one that will stick with him.

Clark explains, “Not to text and drive that’s for sure. To keep all senses when I’m driving and to look both ways. And in anything I’m doing make sure I’m off my phone.”