Matthew Lakier
PhD Student @ UWaterloo

Cross-Car Games

This project explored multiplayer games that people driving in semi-autonomous cars can play with people in other cars on the road. We wanted to explore the possibility for games to leverage technologies of vehicles of the future, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, full-window heads-up displays (HUDs), and semi-autonomous driving. We designed three augmented reality (AR) games indicative of different genres. Because no vehicles existed with all of these technologies at the same time, I created a virtual reality driving simulator, in which the virtual cars were instrumented with autonomous driving capabilities, and full-window HUDs to display the AR content.

I developed the games in the virtual driving simulator in the Unity game engine. The games rendered one of the VR controllers as a smartphone in VR, enabling touchscreen interaction with the games as they unfolded on the windows’ HUDs. In one of the games, players can use a physical throwing gesture to launch a virtual ball at other cars.



Screenshot of prototyping system
The cross-car game prototyping system rendered autonomous cars driving down a straight stretch of road. Parameters of the cars, such as their paths, minimum separation, speeds, and frequencies of lane changes, were all adjustable.