Richard Hammond of Top Gear gets under the bonnet

Click the picture to start your career in motorsports

Click the picture to start your career in motorsports

Richard Hammond of the TV show Top Gear has either written or sold his name for naming writes on the book Car Science that is a colourful and informative look at cars and especially fast ones.

cardesign_01sm

Young boys will love the colourful bright pages packed with detail and information. The web site link here even allows you to design a number of different cars with an allocated points budget. This will entertain youngsters as they try the various options for at least 15 minutes!

Every young boy who love cars dreams about a career in the motorsports inductry. If your son or daughter has this passion then, the following book is a excellent start for you to help them get started. Click on the link to discover more of this career starting book.
hammond book_01

MotorsportsCareer

At last an authorative guide to having a career in the motorsports industry

At last an authorative guide to having a career in the motorsports industry

Get into top gear with SimDeck.

SimDeck gets into top gear with the latest promotion that is aimed at all ages. Boy racers may have their cars crushed for racing on the streets, Greg Murphy will drive at a wall in high speed, holiday cars race north and create a bottle neck at the Pohoi tunnel. SimDeck offers the Top Gear test circuit in the open wheeler simulator for Top Gear the TV Theatre Show at the Auckland leg of the world tour.

The new monthly SimDeck promotion each month is designed to bring all the above elements together to test a driver’s quick adaptation to a very fast vehicle, an unfamilar circuit and rapid responsive action. It will require accurate acceleration, braking, maintaining the perfect drive line, stepping through the gears in a rapid motion with accurate timing.

Each driver will be given five minutes to race. In this time they will need to establish familiarity with the circuit and to establish one lap as their fastest that will be recorded. Before they visit the SimDeck Formula facility drivers can download the simulation software for free and drive the formula car and circuit to get in some off line practice prior to booking your race slot. Just follow the download instructions.

Get into top gear with SimDeck Promotion Details
Cost – $5. Payable on site
Promo Duration – February
Requirement
– Steady hand
– Register on site prior to racing
– 10 years and older.
– Under 6ft tall
Prize – 60 minute simulator session with 3 friends.
Prize will be announced in first week of March on our web site and we will also contact you.
Winning driver’s race lap will be published on the internet
Booking your session
– Just ring the SimDeck Pit Office to see if your preferred time slot is available.
Rules and Details
No grid restarts.
All participants agree to have their photo, name and race video published.
All rights are retained by SimDeck Formula Simulators
Drivers can enter each month.
Drivers can only enter once per month.
Track to race on Blackwood Circuit
Vehicle – Formula Race vehicle
Duration format – Hotlap
Drivers are allowed to race as often as they wish offline before visiting SimDeck for their race.

We will be running this as a monthly race series competition so you’ll always be in top gear. For any boy racers who have had their cars crushed, get Mum to drop you off, Dad, if you’ve smashed your car in a crash out on Auckland streets, there is a bus stop 5 minutes away on Bush Road. For those who have lost their licence get on your bike in top gear to SimDeck Formula Simulators on Airborne Road in Albany. The Stig will be waiting to meet you and edge on to become the champion your Mum wants you to be.

Contact 09-414 2348 for any further information.

SimDeck Simulator used to demonstrate the affect of alcohol

Campbell Live Reporter, Tony Reid was starting to get a bit under the weather...literally!

Campbell Live Reporter, Tony Reid was starting to get a bit under the weather...literally!

NZ television station TV3, are bringing the deadly mix of alcohol and driving to life in the SimDeck simulator in the Cambell Live TV programme.

Campbell Live addresses the growing problem of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Campbell Live addresses the growing problem of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.


Many people under estimate the affect that a few drinks can have on their ability to drive. Depsite the often perceived bravado of knocking a few drinks back at the Xmas party or during the holiday season, this coming holiday season is expected to be no different with numerous people being killed because of the influence of alcohol.

Under the watchful eye of his camera crew and the  NZ Police, Tony increases his alcoholic intake to almost 3 times the legal limit!

Under the watchful eye of his camera crew and the NZ Police, Tony increases his alcoholic intake to 3 times the legal limit!

Campbell Live reporter Tony Reid, in co-operation with the North Shore Police and SimDeck Formula Simulators went out to demonstrate just how deadly the mix of driving and alcohol can be be and the direct influence on one’s ability to stay alive or not kill another. Tony first spent a period of time in the simulator driving a virtual LX6 open top sports car (1.8 lt engine) in a rural race circuit in the UK to first gain some familiarity of the simulator / car and the virtual environment. Then it was off to an actual pub down the road here in Albany where he lubricated the parched throat with a mix of alcoholic drinks.

Back at SimDeck HQ the Police breath tested Tony and he was exactly 400 mg….the edge of breaking the law in NZ, though still just legal, Tony was definitely now under the influence, but not legally drunk or breaking the law. Then back into the simulator car and out on the road where a noted lack of ability was becoming apparent. To test the point further, two cans of Woodstock burbon drink at 8% acoholic level was consumed, Tony was now definitely drunk with a breath tested reading of just on 1140 and as the Police described…was now a licensed potential killer on the road. With speech slurred, glazed eyes, unstable on his feet, Tony hoped back into the Simdeck car and headed off back down the road.

Breath testing a known driver under the influence. As it turned out the reading was almost three times the legal limit.

Breath testing a known driver under the influence. As it turned out the reading was almost three times the legal limit.

Thankfully it was only a virtual world where he was driving, but now every corner became a disaster zone, unable to keep to the line Tony was truely a potential killer behind the wheel and capable of creating a lifetime of misery had he been driving in the real world.

Even though this was a journalist experiencing his own story, it was observed that Tony’s demeanour had now become rather cocky, over confident and this was whilst interviewing the Police officer – all in the name of the story. His sentences and questions were not as fluent like before. The Police Officer in attendance suddenly bought home the serious reality of Tony’s condition in that he now considered Tony’s state of intoxication to be deadly. He went on to explain the life long impact this could have had if Tony had been in this state and pulled up at a road check point. A lost of license was guarranteed, notable fine, public shame and the sequence of after affects, could lead to loss of job, reliance on taxis, friends and public transport , family breakdown, loss of income.

Of course the camera crew were not going to be left out and jumped into the SimDeck Simulator for a few lamps.

Of course the camera crew were not going to be left out and jumped into the SimDeck Simulator for a few laps.

Role playing and all for the story, evenso the realisation for Tony of his real life inebriated state, suddenly brought about the grim reality that had he been out in the real world and been breath tested after a party, afternoon drinks or an evening with the boys, his career and life would have just taken a turn for the worst and that would be even without an accident….thankfully he was in the virtual world of Simdeck Simulators.

And before you ask, Tony was not driving when he left SimDeck Simulators HQ and was chauffer driven by his cameraman.

Hey folks this very life like demonstration of real booze, a real cop doing real breath testing in a very real life like virtual world, is here as a deadly warning.

IF YOU DRINK AND DRIVE YOU’RE BLOODY IDIOT. IT JUST AIN’T WORTH THE RISK AND SEQUENCE OF EVENTS.

Tony Reid driving the SimDeck PET250 simulator. Click on the image to view the video programme.

Tony Reid driving the SimDeck PET250 simulator. Click on the image to view the video programme.


If you missed the story on Campbell Live, TV3, 7pm 17 December 2008. http://www.tv3.co.nz it is available on this linked screen shot.
Here is a link to the video programme.

SimDeck Formula Simulators was pleased to be involved and supporting this message to keep our roads safe and our drivers sober.

Promoting high speed racing and driver safety go hand in hand.

Most people tend to think of Formula One, A1GP and other motor race sports as all about high speed, competition and galmour. Behind all motorsports events, bodies and organisations world wide stands the governing body – FIA who is deadly serious about reducing road deaths world wide.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile is the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organisations.

Founded in 1904, with headquarters in Paris, the FIA is a non-profit making association. It brings together 219 national motoring and sporting organisations from 130 countries on five continents. Its member clubs represent over 100 million motorists and their families.

As you start to reflect on what causes road deaths, in many cases it is speed relative to the conditions, environments and driver ability. High speed motorsports racing at 300kph is deadly dangerous so it might surprise many folk there are serious initiatives and ongoing development continually that the FIA, Formula One drivers and the World Bank act on to reduce road deaths and injuries. Currently deaths worldwide each year are about 1.2 million. For those who have family, friends, colleaques who have died or been injured in a car accident you will know the devasting affect this has for years to come.

Robert Kubica's high-speed crash at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix.

Robert Kubica's high-speed crash at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix.

SimDeck believes that it’s expertise in high speed simulation has a vital role to play in driver training in race and non-race situations. Though open wheeler race cars are designed for one thing – driving fast, it is always with the understanding to do it as safely as possible. To do this, familarity with the car, the circuit and environment is crucial.

FIA along with its various sections and Formula One drivers are constantly rasing the profile of driver safety out on city streets and country roads. Here at Simdeck Formula Race simulators, our events and perception is that even in simulation whether it be for entertainment, promotional or driver training, safety is paramount. So enjoy the experience in our life-like like-size race car simulators, but remember speed can kill and you can influence your own attitudes, behaviour and most of all driving skill when you race with SimDeck Formula Simulators.

Here is an insight to what Spain is doing to reduce road kill.

Informative range of activities from FIA on reducing road deaths both on the race circuit and off.

SimDeck Virtual Reality Centre – Book Your High Speed Race Experience today where we put the Reality into Virtual Reality.

The SimDeck Experience is ideal for a gift, entertainment fun day out and even training

The SimDeck Experience is ideal for a gift, entertainment fun day out and even training

SimDeck Formula Simulators
“We put the reality in virtual reality”.

These booked sessions are designed as a one on one event where you will be the focus of attention. Members of the public will not be present as it will be only for you and your companions.

Here we describe five programmes you can book here at the SimDeck VR Centre for an in-house virtual reality experience. 1 – “The Rookie Racer”, 2 – I Wanna Be A Race Car Driver”, 3 – “Get Us on the Track”, 4 – “Race Your Date”, # 5 – Mid Day Racer

Click here to go to the catered Birthday Party Event details.

These events are ideal to experience the adrenalin world of open cockpit high speed racing in an actual race car within a virtual reality world. This event is ideal as a gift, spontaneous fun experience, Dating experience for a couple (minimum 30 minutes), short birthday experience and similar. Minimal driving instruction is provided, so drive with extra care to enjoy your experience.

Typically you will race a virtual open wheeler car which can be selected according to your ability or you are free to select your own from our large range. If you have a favourite track we can race you in a life like virtual version.

After a brief explanation of the controls we will race you in a low powered race car on an entry level circuit in a non competitive environment so you can get some familiarity on the race circuit.

After your confidence has grown on a few laps we place you in a city circuit against other cars where either your ego will be challenged or your reputation will grow…happy racing!

At the end of your race we can review some of the race experience from the broadcast view.
Ladies and Gentle please start your engine the race is about to begin.

The perfect event for a fun and entertaining experience where you get to be in the hot seat in a Formula styled race car simulator.

The perfect event for a fun and entertaining experience where you get to be in the hot seat in a Formula styled race car simulator.

“The Rookie Racer”
Walkin Casual – Advanced bookings strongly recommended.
Duration – 15 minutes
Cost Per 15 minutes – $35 (GST Incl)

You should arrive 5 minutes prior to your scheduled race time.

This event is ideal to experience the adrenalin world of open cockpit high speed racing in an actual race car within a virtual reality world. This event is ideal as a gift, spontaneous fun experience, Dating experience for a couple (minimum 30 minutes), short birthday experience and similar. Minimal driving instruction is provided, so drive with extra care to enjoy your experience.

Typically you will race a virtual open wheeler car which can be selected according to your ability or you are free to select your own from our large range. If you have a favourite track we can race you in a life like virtual version.

After a brief explanation of the controls we will race you in a low powered race car on an entry level circuit in a non competitive environment so you can get some familiarity on the race circuit.

After your confidence has grown on a few laps we place you in a 5 lap city circuit against other cars where either your ego will be challenged or your reputation will grow…happy racing!

At the end of your race we can review some of the race experience from the broadcast view.
Ladies and Gentle please start your engine the race is about to begin.

The perfect event where you get to establish your career and ability in this indepth 90 minute session.

The perfect event where you get to establish your career and ability in this indepth 90 minute session.

# 2 Virtual Reality Experience – “I Wanna be a Race Car Driver”
“The Virtual GP Career” Race Training and GP Race – Advanced Booking Required.
Duration 90 minutes.
Cost per 90 minute session. $250 (GST Incl)

This event is ideal as a gift, special event activity or as special reward as a one on one experience with our Pro Simulation Race Driver. Up to two people are able to accompany you to view your experience.
You should arrive 15 minutes before your booked time to prepare for your experience.

Turn on the ignition, feel the engine rumble, vibrations through the vehicle, twitching fingers, the roar of the engine fills your head and the tension sets in …welcome to high speed racing in our virtual life like world.

On arrival we give you a briefing, dress you in you in your full race kit. We provide plenty of photo opportunities for you, plus as an option, we can provide a high quality video record of your race for later enjoyment.

This package includes a training session to test your control ability in a low powered car that is a test of your timing sense and response times. This is carried out with realistic driving exercises as you are put through your paces.

Then we progress onto driveline test on an oval track with a medium powered open wheeler car and finally onto a city track with all the bends, hairpins and straights. With the rookie training over, we move onto race time on one of a number of world famous tracks in a high powered modern Formula One Sauber race car or a 1979 Formula One Car.

After a short refresher break and completion of your training record the serious stuff begins. First we review the actual track and learn a little of the history and even go to visit it on Google Earth so you gain an appreciation of where you will be racing.

This next phase will consist of a multi-lap virtual GP against a full field of race cars, complete with pit stops, split second timing.

Before the event proper and taking the Green light, initially you will travel the circuit in auto pilot giving you an eye popping speed experience and first hand you will see and feel pro driving ability.

You will be pushing your drive skill abilities to the limit at high speed, coming into corners at break neck speed and accelerating to over 150 within a second, avoiding other cars, monitoring your petrol, damage control, timing pit stops, finding the best drive line and changing gears, brakes, acceleration all within seconds will be a real test of your muscle memory, circuit recall and co-ordination skills.

After your virtual GP is completed we will review your race over coffee, issue your drive report and award your Graduation Certificate.

Your Virtual GP Event maybe broadcast live online … imagine a world wide audience following your Virtual GP Career!

Within approx a week of your virtual GP experience we will broadcast this on the SimDeck video race site based at Youtube. Now you are able to boast your race achievements and spread your GP reputation on the race track.

This event can be combined for two people and each staged is interspersed giving you a break as you each move thru the various stages. This extends the full session to 3 hours.

Cost per 90 minute session. $250 (GST Incl)
Duration 90 minutes
You should arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled race time.

# 3 Virtual Reality Experience – “Get Us on the Track”

Special Bonus Event Only for Married Couples.
It is ok, this is not some risque nite out, but an activity where you get to have some competitive fun racing against each other in a Formula One styled actual race car / simulator. So let the hair down and take this opportunity to have some high speed romance on the race track. Whatever you do, don’t tell the kids till after your event!

High speed racing is not just a guys thing! Ladies young and old can enjoy this virtual reality experience.

When was the last time you both went out and did some activities together. Or left the kids with Grand Parents, locked the garden shed and went to hang out doing something completely different. Well we know what it is like, you never get out for a short break, forgeting about the house hold routine and have some fun. This event is timed to fit in either around, or just after meal times – (noon and evenings). For once you don’t need to cook at home. So if you think it is time to put some time in together, to hang out and date each other, then this could be the fun thing just for you.

So here how it works.
You bring your own pizza, fish n chips, Chinese takeways or whateve takes your fancy, (you can even order from our place), and we provide the coffee and environment. The entire booking is for 1 hour where you have something to eat and we have you both racing in the simulator as you take turns to impress each other. We can set you up racing against each others time or you can race against a field of virtual cars on a race circuit.

We are only offering this on certain days, so it pays to book a few days in advance so we can ensure the race track is clear just for you both. This event would make a lovely surprise date for your partner and do something different and fun together. So come on guys, get your lady and try to impress her like you once did when you dated regularly before the kids arrived. Now impress her once more as her very own race car champion. Ladies remember to stroke his ego and his ability! A little flattery will go a long way to getting that new kitchen. 🙂

Please note this Race Simulation Package is only for those in a long term relationship…where you’ve gotta get out of the house and do something different once in a while together!
Cost – $150
Duration – 60 minutes

Currently the scheduled times are as follows. Please enure you book a few days ahead of time. Though if you have a sudden urge to have your event now, we may have a vacancy we can slot you in. Call us on Tel 414 2348
Monday – 5pm – 7.30pm
Wed – 11.30am – 2pm
Friday – 4.30pm – 8pm
Saturday – 3.30pm – 8pm
Sunday 1.30pm – 4pm

Special Bonus Only for married couples with children- All bookings made in November we will give a free 15 minute gift voucher that one of your children can use for a Casual Pre-booked Walkin virtual reality experience. A great way to reward them for their effort around the house.

# 4 Virtual Reality Experience – “Race Your Date”

This event is designed for two people in a relationship (husband / wife, boy / girl friend) etc where you want to do something special together. Ideal as a first date, break the boredom, part of the regular things you might do together, or a surprise activity together with your partner. When you make the booking let us know the nature of the relationship so we say all the right things so you impress your new girl friend!

Do fun things together is always a crucial aspect to keep and maintain a relationship. What better way to add some competitive high speed racing. Against yourself or your partner your ability to manage you patience, perception and co-ordination skills. The fastest driver is not neccessarily the winning driving.

Going on a date, especially the first one, can be the one that makes or breaks any further chances. So we provide the ideal environment where you can relax, have some fun and get to know each other. the only sweat and nerves will be who is the better driver, are egos intact. If you’re a guy it is a great way to let her be the better driver. Of course our lips are sealed! 🙂 If you’re a woman it is a great way to be the damsel driver to get his attention or pull out all stops and show you’re no fool and a force to be reckoned with.

We have timed this event to be just long enough so you can still do other activities after your visit, attend to other committements and to keep focus throughout your virtual reality visit.

We supply the pizza and non-alcholic drinks / tea and coffee. You supply the attitude.

Cost per 45 minute session. $165 (GST Incl)
Duration 45 minutes
You should arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled race time, to gear up and pre-race briefing.

This event is available by appointment only.

Currently the scheduled times are as follows. Please enure you book a few days ahead of time. Though if you have a sudden urge and your date out needs a speed boost, we may have a vacancy on the grid we can slot you in on an emergency. Call us on Tel 414 2348

Friday – 4.30pm – 9pm
Saturday – 3.30pm – 9pm
Sunday 1.30pm – 4pm

# 5 Virtual Reality Experience – The Midday Racer

Cost per 30 minute session. $60 (GST Incl)
Duration 30 minutes
You should arrive promptly before your scheduled time.

Need to get out of the office or clear your head over lunch. Have a visitor where you want to sneak out to do something cool with, had a heavy meeting session during the morning, or maybe you’re completely bored. Then this is the session for you.

Bring your lunch or pick something on the way over and we will have the car of the track before you get here for up to 30minutes of race time. Ideal session if you and a few friends from the office want to have some midday fun. We provide the free coffee / tea. Bring your camera so you can email your mates …”see what if did over lunch” … of course you might make them just a teeny weeny bit jealous – but then that is the intention 🙂

Phone ahead to make sure the car is not all ready out on the track or that we are otherwise engaged. Share the cost with up to two others – Virtual reality was never so cheap for a true immersive experience. This event is best suited to those in the Albany – North Shore area.

This Virtual Reality session is available from:

11.45am – 1.30pm during
Monday, Tues, Wed, Thur, Friday
Week days only.
Not available during public holidays.

Cost per 30 minute session. $60 (GST Incl)
Duration 30 minutes
You should arrive promptly before your scheduled time.

For further information and bookings please ring 09-414 2348 or email sales@simdeck.com

Please note pricing subject to change without further notice. Please confirm at the time you book your simulation experience. Payment. We only accept cash payment at this time.

How I became a Professional Simulation Driver … Part 1

Constructing the new BBQ area for which Dad rewarded us with a new set of racing carts. The area also became the start grid for our down hill garden circuit.

Constructing the new BBQ area for which Dad rewarded us with a new set of racing carts. The area also became the start grid for our down hill garden circuit. Today the shed has gone and to the left is a driveway right to the back to agarage where once was the hen shed.

I now often get asked about how did I become a Professional Simulation Race Car Driver and manufacturer of race car simulators and more recently establishing the SimDeck Race Team….well I thought I would share a little of my story here .. so lets see what my fingers tell as I document this for you right now.

  When you are in the middle of what you do, it seems so obvious as to how you do it… Right! isn’t everyone a Simulation Race car Driver? I mean isn’t it a profession the Careers teacher might suggest…of course I am saying this a little tonque in the cheek.

Seriously though on reflection like Scott Dixon, Lewis Hamilton and many of the world famous and local race car drivers we started young. And like so many others we all have our own unique path.

The other significant activity that bought the motorsports interest alive in my childhood was as driver and team manager of my own Race Team by the age of Team. My father built one of the largest circuits in our town adjacent to our home …how cool was that to have our own race circuit without track fees!!! Dad never had a movie camera however this motorsports enthusiast captures that experience in a similar circuit.

If you haven’t checked it out already you’ll see what I mean on the Scott Dixon video clips I have listed on the posting – Kiwi’s can rise to the top of the US Motorsports

Recently the famous Scotsman Sir Jackie Stewart OBE came to speak New Zealand and I had the chance to learn indepth and first hand his amazing story of courage, disbility, the guiding influences he had as a young boy. What I found most interesting is the one point in his young life when Jackie took a turning step as a teenager to become a drop out of society and heading down the path of becoming one of society’s failures before he hit 20 yrs. If you want to hear the most fascinating story of how he became what he is today make sure you search out for his autobiography “Winning is not Enough”. Hardback version comes with a DVD. I would particularly recommed it to parents whose children have a learning disability / dyslexia or if your teenagers are about to take the wrong path in their life. It could save you $1,000’s and reduce a huge amount of worry, heart ache and frustration with your own children.
Click on this link for a Forbes Interview with Sir Jackie Stewart
Did you know that Jackie Stewart was a world class champion in two sporting fields…. Motorsports and [blank] …you’ll need to read the book 🙂

You certainly don’t need an interest in motorsports to find Jackie’s book interesting, just as you don’t need to be interested in aviation or Virgin to learn from Richard Branson.

Continue reading

Muscle Memory is one of the most crucial elements that connects your brain to your body

Today I want to share some thoughts about a concept we understand intimately in the simulation business that everybody since the birth of mankind has endeavoured to achieve and perfect by the time they are 12 months old. It is an issue that affects our work, behaviour, responses, movement, reactions, co-ordination, whether we will win a sports event, our driving, how we operate machinery, how and why we train, how F16 pilots respond in an emergency and primarily one of the reasons pilots train in simulators and why the MacLaren Technology race centre has spent millions on their state of the art race car simulator in the UK.

First I would like you to perform a very simple execise. Before I give you the instructions here is a question. Can you outsmart your foot? Think about it for a moment …. let me rephrase it, Can you control your foot no matter what else your body is doing? Ok store your answer, share it with someone else who is reading this with you. What I am about to share with you might be one of the most profound things you will understand about human movement and control.

How smart is your Right Foot?

1.  WITHOUT anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY….. 🙂 and while sitting where you are at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot  off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2.  Now, while doing this, draw the number “6” in the air with your right hand.

Now did you suddenly see what happened with your right foot? Your foot changed direction as you were drawing the figure 6! Try it again, and concentrate harder and see if you can outsmart your foot, and again. You could keep doing this every day for years and you will NEVER be able to stop your foot from changing direction.

Why is that you might ask, am I stupid, because I am write handed or left handed – no it is none of these and every person on the planet will have the same response with the foot. The answer is because It’s preprogrammed in your brain and there is absolutely nothing you can do about! So relax …it means you’re normal 🙂 The telling aspect about this illustration is that the muscle memory has been preprogrammed already so you do not need to spend time learning this for your next party trick…you already know how to do it.

This brings me to todays post, Muscle memory and how it is one of the most fundamental and crucial skills we need to teach our body.

Do you recall one of the very first activities you learnt that you do to this very day… its walking, those staggering steps, mums outstretched arms and coo cooing you to take one more step. You had to concentrate and tell each leg what to do. If you later lost your legs and became an amputee you went thru the whole process again. Teaching the brain and muscle how to work together, when to send signals and when to move. So eventually with walking you finally perfected it and never once do you now think, left leg, now right, now left…eventually it became engrained in your brain and you leg muscles learnt what to do, you even managed it at high speed and we saw some amazing examples of this at the Olympics in Bejing last week and then this week with the Disabled Olympics with the amputees.

This is one of the reasons we use simulators, is to teach the muscle how to move in a split second in an event sub consciously preprogrammed with the correct automatic response. The nano second command from the brain to the muscle may either kill, save you or enable you to proceed normally. Many times we find in the SimDeck simulator that people confuse left paddle down gears with righ paddle gears up command, but never do we find people having a problem with left foot brake and right foot accelerator. With the gear paddles on the steering column often we will give the instruction right paddle up, drivers use the left paddle and suddenly drop itno reverse. After some practice they eventually teach the muscle the command. Now this issue becomes so much more critical, when sudenly they have an audience, 15 other cars racing with them, the expectations to try and win, the need to cope with multiple decisions, emotions and implement car driving skills extremely rapidly as they hurtle into a corner at 250 kph, or pilots coming out of a barrel roll to shake off and incoming missile.

I reflect on a sad incident in Auckland last year in our posh suburb of Remuera where an older lady was reversing out of her drive way, went to put the foot brake on, but hit the accelerator by mistake, the car suddenly lurched backwards and hit a pedesterian that just happened to walk past the drive way at the precise moment… she was killed! So in that nano second, the legs got confused and the right leg depressed instead of the left.

In a simualor a movement or response, can be programmed into the body due to the ease of repeating over and over again with out the huge cost in reality. Can an ambulance driver practice driving in a “red alert condition on the Auckland motorway”? Can a Police driver practice driving around your city chasing a car with all lights blazing? The answer is NO. Therefore the only way these drivers can practice and teach their bodies how to automatically respond can only be achieved in a simulator. You might think, “well they could do this on a test track”, yes they could but the financial, environmental  and resource realities and the 100’s of drivers need to learn and teach their bodies simply make it impiossible to be able to do this regularly and to repeat exact same road conditions whenever you so desired. This is the awesome power of driving simulators and the very ability and technique that can be used to teach every driver how to driver, change their attitude in driving, eye co-ordination, leg and arm movement etc.  Dean Baker captain of the recent NZ Americas Cup Regatta in Valcenia, was asked “why is the team out training so much on the yachts”, his response was simple and short to “learn muscle memory.”  The professional race industry knows this and one reason why Daniel Greenwood here in Auckland, programmed and designed the Taupo A1GP race track in the simulator … so our Johnny Reid could learn the track before they could get onto the track to race Balck Beauty.

It surprises me , but them maybe it is to be expected, that why successive Governments around the world insist in a short questionaire test and simple driving test for a few minutes is the basis of giving you a license. I call it a legal license to kill.

Sure some will have a 6 time driving course, or Dad might teach you out in the carpark and eventually around some quiet road. But never will Dad or the instructor teach you to learn how to respond when an oncoming car is about to hit you in 2 seconds, but they may teach you how to do a three point turn, reverse into a side carpark and adjust your rear vision mirrors. No wonder we have so many accidents even when no other car is in the vicinity for 50 km!

This is truely the power of simulators and every fighter plane pilot knows this intimately as it teaches them how to respond in one of the most carbon friendly solutions available.

The following graphic is often used to tease the difference of how woman think and how men think. Double click on the graphic to bring it alive.

The ability to multi task

The ability to multi task