Mechanism of the First Generation Riding Simulators
The motorcycles could be operated only if the riders keep their balance. In the development of riding simulators, therefore, the study of human characteristics becomes indispensable for simulated reproduction of motorcycle movements, and control systems became complicated. In other words, it becomes difficult to obtain the feeling of riding, such as the instability in very slow and turning motion, feeling of acceleration and deceleration and the sense of rolling when the movable units were controlled by simulators in accordance with the kinetic equation of motorcycles. It is possible, however, to reproduce the feeling of riding by giving riders illusion, providing environmental information like images and sounds.
| The riding simulators consist of the following four components:
Use the operating system of actual vehicle on the body of 400cc class motorcycle.
Key portion of the simulator, housing a variety of devices with personal computer in the center.
The screen box consists of the image screen unit and the hood. Close attention is given to enable riders to concentrate on the screen.
Interface using mouse is adopted to facilitate setting and operations.
| The operation of riders is put into the interface circuit
and conveyed to the host computer by telecommunication. Based
on the signal, the host computer will calculate the behaviors
of engines and body and the positions of own vehicle and other
vehicles appearing on the images, and transmit the results thus
obtained to the image generator, sound device, servo amplifier
and inverter as command. As the consequence, the body behaves,
vision is cast on the screen, and engine sound can be heard
from the speakers, the rider feels a driving wind so that the
feeling as if one is actually driving can be obtained.
The important point for simulators is to make one feel as if he is actually riding. This was decided by attaching importance to the feeling of riding as regards to the number of axes required and the range of actuation, using prototype machines capable of reproducing various movements. With the use of three servomotors, it was made possible to reproduce the rolling motion of motorcycle body, movements of pitching and the motion of the handlebar in a way felt close to actual riding. The riding unit is equipped, beside the movable motor, with interface circuits having functions such as "to convert the operation of riders to electric signals" and "meter indications and the drive of indicators".
For the image device, computer generated image (CGI) system as used for flight simulator was adopted.
A special computer generates images, which keep on changing in response to the operation of drivers. Smooth running images are created at the rate of 30 frames per second. For the unit casting images from the projector on the screen, a method to reflect once with a mirror is adopted to make the machine compact in size while securing focal distance. For the 52-inch screen on the front, a lenticular type was adopted, which enables to obtain good contrast even in a light room and back mirror images were also housed in it.
| Sound and Driving Wind
PCM (pulse code modulation) system is used for the sound equipment to digitally sample the actual sound of motorcycle engines. Horn, change, grounding sound of steps and the sound of moving through the air, etc. were recorded. Furthermore, as for the engine sound of other vehicles coming into the screen, even the Doppler effect caused by speed difference was reproduced. These sounds were generated from 16cm speakers stereo-arranged in the computer box. Headphone terminals are also installed on the car body side. Driving wind is generated by inverter-controlled fans through two ducts on the left and right in proportion to motorcycle speed.
| Traffic Environments
Complicated traffic environments can be reproduced with the appearance on the scene of buildings, guard rails, various traffic signs like signals, indications and a number of vehicles.
A variety of courses are prepared, including the course of experiencing characteristics of motorcycles like over-speed cornering and exposure to side wind, legally specified driving course with reproduction of general mixed traffic and a course enabling to predict hazardous scenes. Furthermore, highway scenes are prepared as an option to broaden the range of education.
The operation desk is equipped with monitors, VTR, switch box and mouse. Simple operation is made possible just to click with a mouse the switch buttons appearing on the monitor, from the start to the end of simulator. Furthermore, infrared ray emitting LED is installed on the switch box for the control of recording VTR of riding conditions and the start and stop of recording.
Functions to further enhance the effects of training are provided as standards or options, such as the repeat function to reproduce the actions of operation, multi-eye system (option name) enabling to view own vehicle from various viewpoints, night mode and fog mode.