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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?