Generally speaking, I don’t care much about cars, but Audi Canada, together with Toronto-based ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo and Slot Mods USA have managed to use cars in a way that piqued my interest. The documentary above tells the story of how Audi Canada partnered with the slot racing company to build 1/32 scale Quattro models, as well as a detailed test track for those cars to drive. The best part? Users can hop on iPads to steer the cars, and get a driver-perspective point of view of the RC cars in action in real time.
The craftsmanship of the track itself is impressive enough, as is the effort put into making the scale models of the Audi cars, but the coolest part for me is the way they rigged the vehicles to not only be controlled by iPads, but also to deliver back to those devices a real-time view of the track as it’s being driven. If there’s one thing that’s disappointing in the video, it’s that they gloss over the technical details of how the router setup and video streaming actually works, presumably in the interest of not boring their audience. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a little less about painting trees and a little more about the technical backend. But if you’re looking for grittier technical info, rather than a look at a polished finished product, check out this similar project put together by Portugese hardware hackers.
This thing is actually playable, if you happen to be in Toronto, and it looks like it should feel a bit more real than even a Gran Turismo in action. One suggestion: Arcades could experience a renaissance if they invested in more things like this. I’m hoping for a kaiju/giant robot fighting game crafted with the same attention to detail myself.