Imagine being able to take your car to a racetrack and drive flat out, even in the middle of winter. Want to see if that new intake and exhaust really did lower your lap times, or want to see if your Mustang really is faster than your neighbor’s Camaro without tickets, impounded cars or jail time? Tag Systems may have just what you’re looking for, and the Australian company is now brining their advanced driving simulators to the United States. The concept is simple: you drive your car onto a rig very similar to a dynamometer. It gets strapped down, an exhaust extractor is positioned behind your car and a massive cooling fan is moved into the front. Depending on your choice, you can run city streets at speeds that would normally result in body cavity searches and a long term relationship with a guy named Bubba, or you can take it to the race track. Tag Systems has road courses and drag strips, so just name your preference. Video from Jay Leno’s Garage below.
As cool as the idea sounds, I just don’t think it would do it for me. Sure, I’d be driving my own car, but there isn’t a sensation of speed in corners or under acceleration. Mash the brakes, and there’s nothing to pitch you forward in the car; ultimately, it’s like a big video game that wears out your tires, sucks down gas and eats your brake pads. I’m a fan of Gran Turismo 5, but it’s nowhere close to the real thing (as a few lucky people will find out soon enough).
I see a definite application for this in driving instruction. It’s not the same as learning behind the wheel (and therefore isn’t quite as good), but where else can you safely simulate things like spin recovery, loss of traction, evasive maneuvers and even changing weather? One simulator could be shared by schools or civic organizations, so I see a definite business model in renting simulator time. I think Tag Systems is onto something here, and I’ll bet that a few entrepreneurial types figure out how to make decent money with this. Anybody want to partner up on buying a mobile simulator?
Source: Jay Leno’s Garage