University designs system to assess skill and reaction
The simulators allow drivers to experience course lay-out and boat handling without going near the water while also assessing performance in relation to a variety of human measures including eye movements.
“This project forms part of a wider research programme into the design of high performance craft that more effectively reduce human exposure to shock and vibration,” said a spokesperson for the university.
“We anticipate that the simulator will provide a valuable training platform for powerboat drivers and will allow them to gain experience at high speeds in a variety of realistic sea conditions without exposing them to the high levels of vibration and repeated shock.”
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The university and P1 said they remain committed to pushing forward research into powerboat performance for improved safety and sustainability in the future.
Powerboat simulators are not new. A basic version first appeared at the 1968 London Boat Show when a 21ft (6.4m) Avenger Class III racing runabout was coupled to an electronic screen.
Drivers followed a mock course as the hull rolled and pitched in relation to simulated sea conditions. Although relatively successful it was later withdrawn due to lost sponsorship.