January 28, 2019

Virtual reality bumper cars take VR entertainment to the next level

By Lucy Ingham

The world’s first virtual reality bumper cars are being launched this year in Germany, combining the fairground staple with modern technology to provide a retro-futuristic steampunk experience.

The attraction, entitled Steampunk VR Scooter, will see visitors immersed in a Wild West-themed environment, where they can drive their own vehicles in virtual reality (VR), while battling giant robots as they go.

The team attraction is the latest offering from Holodeck VR, a company developing multiplayer VR games for themeparks and other entertainment spaces, and VR Coaster, a company that provides VR experiences on rollercoasters.

By combining the tactile experience of operating a bumper car with the video game qualities of VR, the companies are able to provide an experience that adds an extra level to home-based VR games.

World’s first virtual reality bumper cars

The attraction, which is the first of its kind in the world, will see visitors to the Western City section of the Erlebnispark Schloss Thurn theme park in Heroldsbach near Nuremberg able to try out the virtual reality bumper cars.

While VR attractions have previously married arcade-type driving experiences with VR, this is thought to be the first time where users can operate moving vehicles while wearing a VR headset.

“With this world’s first VR Bumper Cars Attraction, we will once again open a new chapter in location-based virtual reality,” said Professor Thomas Wagner, managing partner of VR Coaster.

“With the combined know-how of the teams at VR Coaster and Holodeck VR, we were able to create an unprecedented, interactive VR experience, which holds some very exciting surprises!”

Holodeck VR has already tested the technology at the park in 2018, in trails that proved successful.

The full version of the virtual reality bumper car experience will open on 13 April 2019. A new VR rollercoaster ride will also launch at the same park, entitled Dinolino’s VR Ride.

Read more: VR tourism: The London attractions using virtual reality to enhance the tourist experience

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