Seeing is believing with high-definition train simulator

A new train simulator codeveloped by Fujitsu offers unparalleled realism thanks to high-definition video shot on actual train lines.

A new train simulator codeveloped by Fujitsu offers unparalleled realism thanks to high-definition video shot on actual train lines.

The video accurately captures the real-life environment seen by drivers that is missing from older simulation systems that rely on computer graphics. The surrounding buildings, the multitude of signs, commuters, and other landmarks along the tracks of Tokyo's Toyoko Line were all present on a high-definition display that represented the window of a make-believe train during a demonstration at a Fujitsu event in Tokyo on Thursday.

The video was shot at 60 frames per second and is combined with a Fujitsu video processing system to ensure it remains natural-looking no matter what the speed of the simulated train. Without the additional processing, the video might look odd if the simulated train speed differed too much from the speed of the real train from which the images were shot.

The system was developed with Ongakukan, a video game and simulator developer in Japan, which released its first train simulation game in 1995. Its latest train-based game, Railfan, uses high-definition video clips but doesn't have the same level of compensation for speed.

In the simulator the video is mixed with computer graphics in order to incorporate all the details present in an actual train dashboard. All the sounds normally heard by the driver, including train announcements, passing cars and operational sounds such as braking, are present in the system.

Weather changes and accidents such as earthquakes and even suicides, which are an all-too-common occurrence on railways in Japan, can also be simulated. The precise environment provided by the simulator improves the skills of train operators and prepares them for the real thing.

The simulator is offered to railway operators and will run on systems ranging from a single laptop to a full-blown train simulator. For anything above single-seat operations Fujitsu offers it as a centrally managed service so that changes to the training system, like variations on the train routes or weather, can be deployed easily. Prices start at ÂYEN 30 million (US$286,000) for a single seat.

Fujitsu aims to sell at least 100 systems in the next three years and plans on developing similar simulation systems for other countries. So far, its software partner Ongakukan has made train-simulation games based on the railways in France, Germany and Taiwan.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?