In a massive warehouse in Higashifuji, Japan, a striking white pod, 56 feet in diameter, is perched atop a mess of machinery. It's the Lexus driving simulator, the most advanced of its kind, and they're finally showing it in action.
The simulator pod, which was completed in 2007, glides around a football field's worth of interconnecting tracks, offering the driver the physical sensation of flooring the Lexus he's sitting in. Of course, the inner walls of the pod are lined with an HD imaging system, so it looks like he's really driving the thing, too.
The company uses the simulator not only to test driver behavior in various traffic conditions but also to see how drivers respond to distractions like texting, how drivers operate while sleep deprived, etc. Lexus says that numerous safety features have grown directly from sessions in the massive simulator. I just wonder if it could teach me to parallel park. [Lexus]