Honda Civic Type R: Reality vs. Virtual Reality

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When you pit a pro driver against a pro gamer, who will come out on top?

Honestly, this is a premise we’ve thought about putting to the test too: gamer vs pro. Honda decided to pit a professional racing driver, Graham Rahal, against a professional gamer, Peter Jenkins. Both would drive a 2018 Civic Type R in their respective elements. When you’re talking about the high level of realism in a game like Forza Motorsport 7, then a comparison of a drivers might be possible. That’s exactly what Honda’s PR team did in this video. As far as PR efforts go, this one is good and doesn’t feel cheesy. Reminds us of that excellent Type R video from a few years ago in the UK. This is what we’ve come to expect of Honda’s PR.

So, instead of just relying on some cool CG (they do that too) Honda set up a “mixed reality” screen in the real Civic Type R. Rahal would be able to see the “ghost” of the virtual Type R on his screen mirroring the lap Jenkins set in Forza 7. In the realm of things that have been done with mixed reality in recent memory, this is way cooler than Pokemon GO.

Honda Civic Type R mixed reality race shows a virtual car on the windshield of the real car.


ALSO SEE: Honda Civic Type R Track Tested!


Rahal makes an interesting point before the real race starts. He said, “in simulation, you don’t have fear. In real life you do. To me, there’s nothing like really driving.” No matter the outcome in a race like this, this is definitely something to note. Anyone can go all-out in a virtual car with nothing on the line but a reputation, but few can do so in the real thing. We’ve driven on the track and played plenty of driving games. Even for enthusiasts like us, the first time on a race track can be overwhelming. We can’t help but wonder how entertaining the video could have been if they’d have swapped places.

What did you think of the outcome?

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Austin Lott is a longtime auto journalist who loves writing about cool cars and hearing the stories behind them. He is a regular contributor to popular Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Honda-Tech and 6speedonline. Although he's partial to Japanese imports, he'll give anything cool a shot.

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