Dallara driving simulator debuts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway


Drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have a nifty new tool at their disposal.

The Dallara D3 driving simulator looks like something you'd find at a NASA training facility. But in this case, it's IndyCar drivers, not astronauts, who will be making the most of the training.

Before the simulator was created, the only place for advanced technology like this was in Italy. Now the Dallara D3 is the only one of its kind in the United States. The goal is to keep Hoosier jobs and maintain Indiana as the lead capital in racing innovation for years to come.

Officials say the simulator will contribute to the research and development of motorsports, which employs more than 23,00 Indiana residents.

Equipped with 190-degree video screens that depict the laser-scanned racetrack, real-time driver-in-the-loop controls and a Dolby Surround 5.1 audio system, the Dallara D3 allows the drivers to completely immerse themselves into the simulation. While in the simulator, different tracks and racing circuit layouts are available to the drivers. This helps reduce costs associated with road and track testing. Drivers can even simulate a crash.

More plans for Dallara research are set in place with a $1.15 million grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to complete and operate the Dallara simulator. The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will partner with Dallara to help complete this research.