CAVU Designwerks rolls out the SDV: an intelligent, trackless ride vehicle
by Sarah Brack, CAVU Designwerks
ABOVE: CAVU Designwerks’ Self Driving Vehicle
The future of attractions relies on the ideal application of advanced technology, fully immersive storytelling, and direct control for guests. The more seamless the integration, the greater the likely success of any attraction. As an integrator, CAVU’s method of developing a new ride system is to take an existing proven technology and find exciting ways to custom-integrate it into the entertainment industry. This approach minimizes project risk while delivering innovation.
As an example, the massive demand for Trackless Dark Rides in the entertainment world has demanded the development of a vehicle with high reliability – one that is simple, safe, and adaptive to its environment. CAVU took this challenge and developed and launched the Self-Driving Vehicle (SDV) a pioneering intelligent, trackless dark-ride vehicle.
Through a partnership with a leader in industrial robotics technology, CAVU employed a proven autonomous self-driving platform as the base of the SDV. This innovative solution showcases CAVU’s level of sophistication on highly engineered technologies and willingness to push the envelope to create the newest standard in amusement park attractions.
CAVU’s SDV is intelligent and can adapt to changing environments. The simple integration with other equipment like show action, scenic sets, and even other ride vehicles makes this SDV truly intelligent. Testing shows downtime of less than 1% which we believe is an unprecedented accomplishment. This means down time caused by ride track interruption is virtually eliminated as CAVU’s SDVs can identify objects and navigate around them, in real time, to the next waypoint.
The applications for CAVU’s SDV are expansive and include dark rides, guided tours, brand activation, moving show action equipment, moving theatres and choreographed shows. The SDV is able to supplement or replace a walk-through experience whereby guided tour guests can board the SDV and use the touch screen to indicate areas that they would like to learn more about. The SDV is then able to seamlessly move guests through the tour while maintaining throughput.
Immersive, guided tours or museum exhibits can now allow guests to board intelligent SDVs equipped with new, interactive devices. Through these different and novel interactions, guests are whisked away to exhibits, circulated 360 degrees around and through each exhibit where the story comes to life better than ever before through this multi-angle experience. Organically, favorite characters can truly come to life when animatronics or show action equipment are mounted to SDVs. Now there is a unique ability to follow alongside guests throughout the narrative, shape the story, and react to guests on an individual and personal level. This simple but surprising interaction can create a deep emotional connection.
There are potential applications today where SDVs could redefine the definition of live shows. Entire theaters could be transformed through the use of large SDVs capable of moving hundreds of people. Now, imagine stages that come alive and provide dynamic performance spaces by integrating SDVs into sections of the stage. Performers can interact with these sections and add a new dimension to live shows and the guest experience.
These are just some of the ways that SDVs will change entertainment experiences to allow a deeper engagement with unique stories. Through the addition of an SDV CAVU can now provide guests an opportunity to get closer to the brands and experiences they love. Using the self-driving platform as the base, every aspect of the SDV can be customized to the clients’ needs.
CAVU Designwerks will be launching new applications for the SDV in addition to next generation ride attractions in the coming months. We partner with experts at every stage, including media, technology, and AV hardware, to deliver exceptional guest experiences, ride performance, and ROI. All of CAVU’s attractions meet ASTM or EN standards for design, quality, and safety, and our team members are actively involved in the ASTM F24 standards committee. Visit www.cavudw.com. • • •
Sarah Brack is Senior Marketing Coordinator for CAVU Designwerks.