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Toyota and Oculus Rift show youngsters the dangers of driving

Well we all know what Oculus Rift will be most used for, but that doesn't mean it won't be used for other things, including those that can help us with our everyday activities.

One of the more important aspects of our lives is careless driving, where (usually) teens and young drivers get easily distracted by either their smartphones, or passengers talking meaningless nonsense, and more often than not, cause a crash.

To help deal with this, Toyota and Oculus Rift decided to team up and create a simulation of such situations to help young drivers better understand the dangers of those scenarios.

This year, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Toyota showed off TeenDrive365 – a driver simulation that teaches new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

The driver sits in a stationary Toyota vehicle and straps on the Oculus Rift virtual reality set, and gets thrown into a fully immersive virtual environment with other cars, passengers, pedestrians, bikers, etc.

Everything the driver does, gas, breaks, lights – reflect on the virtual reality.

It also plays back all the usual sounds like honking, the sound of squeaking tires, or meaningless conversations that passengers are trying to get the driver involved in.

“Oculus Rift provides a virtual reality driving experience that mirrors real life behind the wheel, giving us a powerful, one-of-a-kind way to show parents and teens how everyday distractions can affect their ability to drive safely,” explained Marjorie Schussel, corporate marketing director for Toyota.

“This is the most innovative example of how we’re helping teens and parents become safer drivers together through our ongoing Toyota TeenDrive365 initiative.”