Amsterdam, the Netherlands — Cruden, one of the world’s leading professional motion simulation company, has created a race track around the streets of Lyon in France for simulator centre attraction, I-WAY. The 7.9 km track tours famous landmarks such as Bellecour, old Lyon and Opera, plunging guests into the Croix Rousse tunnel and crossing the Saône and Rhône rivers a number of times. Drivers of I-WAY’s six Formula 1 and six endurance simulators can reach 320 km (around 200 miles) per hour; guests who choose to drive the Citroen C2 cars can drive a special rally cross track devised around the Place Bellecour.
Lyon-based I-WAY was the world’s first professional motion simulator centre when it opened in 2008 and president and general director Pierre Nicolas puts working with simulator hard- and software supplier Cruden on fresh, annual updates, at the heart of the centre’s continued success. “We devise a very innovative new experience for our customers at least once per year. Following the success of our race track on the moon, the Lyon street track is our special attraction this year. After its first three months promotion, 80 percent of our guests want to drive it and we are attracting more interest from locals who find driving around familiar streets makes the track easier to learn. We welcomed around 70,000 guests in 2012; three and a half times as many as in our first full year of operation.”
Says Frank Kalff, commercial director of Cruden: “We create all the cars, tracks and the 3D environment for our simulators in-house so that we can be as flexible, quick and cost-effective as possible for our customers without having to rely on a third party. We can make all the changes ourselves and, importantly for the attractions market, we do not charge a license fee.
“To build a virtual race track, we take data from various sources such as LIDAR/laser scans, CAD data or create the content ourselves from scratch. Then come the hours of making it look exactly right to a professional level of accuracy and image generation. It can take between a week and three to four months depending on how much content is already available. We build race tracks including ovals, courses for rally or rally cross cars as well as roads. Anything really!”