Knightrider Seatbox & Driving Simulator

2016 | HERE GmbH
 CES Las Vegas
The seatbox is a flexible system for prototyping automotive user experiences. At its core is a driving simulator built on top of HERE’s most accurate 3d maps where the user can drive in an immersive 3d enviroment develeoped in Unity.

The simulation reports a virtual gps location to our central comms server which relays this information (and anything else we need from the sim) to any connected client.

With the configurable seatbox from Mirai digital we can swap hardware screens and componants to allow us to test any kind of vehicle setup and input devices.

Production Team
Mark Pearce
Stephan Scheunig
Chris Thompson
Hector Sanchez-Pajarez
Matthias Viranyi
Holger Storm
Roland Heuger
Ruggero Baracco
Stefano Trento
Tero Huttunen
Kalle Bertell
Hardware Components
The base seatbox is built upon a flexible setup of aluminum tubing and adjustable clamps, allowing us to reconfigure the hardware to suit the use case and project specifications.

The standard display configuration includes cluster, center and a large reflected HUD. Room lighting can be controlled by the simulation to allow us to test for dynamic conditions. We use 3d sound and different speaker setups to provide a spatialized audio experience, and advanced head and eye tracking for interaction and measurement.

In addition we can connect mobile device to the comms server to allow us to explore companion experience and to control the system.

Head and Eye Tracking
By tracking the position of the driver’s head we are able to dynamically adjust the rendering of HUD graphics to create a contact analogue effect where the images on the HUD seem to be attached to the real word.

With high precision and frequency eye tracking, we’re able to explore the use of gaze as an input to the vehicle HMI and to calculate what the driver may be looking at in the environment.

We can also use this ability to record and measure the users eye movements and gaze target for research and testing purposes. (heatmaps, distraction, mood, fatigue etc.)
Turn by Turn Maneuvers
Maneuver & Waypoint Markers
Animated lane-level TBT Guidance
Damaged Road & Speed Bump Indicators Visual Lane Assistance

Arrival Location Indication
Provides visual location of destination
Standard address or realtime POI info
Parking and arrival guidance
POI Selection and Highlighting
Maneuver & Waypoint Markers
Animated lane-level TBT Guidance
Damaged Road & Speed Bump Indicators Visual Lane Assistance

Software System
The Simulation
The driving simulation is built in Unity using highly accurate 3d maps. The simulation spoofs the GPS co-ordinates to the comms server and reports virtual ‘canbus’ that allows us to relay vehicle status such as speed or braking.
The Communication Server
The comms server acts as the central hub for all information about the simulation state and synchronizes information across the connected clients. It is written in Node.js and MQTT
Client Applications
The system is agnostic to the the client type, so long as it can subscribe to the MQTT topics and communicate with the webserver.

Typically each channel/output device has its own software client, and we can also connect mobile or external devices which may use the simulation data however they like.

Software Clients in Action

Design Process

Concept Phase
Start in the real world – expose the issues.

Quick ideation, address the top three problems.

Collaborate with users and researchers.

Be informed by strategic direction and business case.
Seatbox Validation
Flexible setup – swap equipment as needed to fit the use case or target vehicle specs.

Test drive experiences in an accurate simulation based on real world data.

Quick validation and iteration cycles.

Safely test concepts and technology without the regulatory and environmental constraints of a real car
Vehicle Testing
Test validated software prototypes from the simulation in the real world.

Reduce development cycles.

KnightRider in Las Vegas, CES 2016