UK's Visualisation Lab uses VR to solve transportation issues

The UK's Transport Systems Catapult has launched its new "Visualisation Laboratory." It's called that because it depends on virtual reality to, in the agency's own words, "help generate innovation and overcome problems in the UK's transport network." The facility plans to install several VR systems in that lab, but its first and main one's already in place: an omnidirectional treadmill around 20 feet in diameter paired with an Oculus Rift DK2. The system called Omnideck6 lets you walk and run -- even crawl, since it was originally developed for military training -- in all directions within VR environments.

The idea is to get scientists and engineers test their own inventions/solutions in virtual reality before building costly prototypes. It can also be used to test ordinary people's reactions to new types of buildings and sidewalks shared with autonomous cars, as they make their way through virtual towns. You know what the best part is? You can actually rent the floor where the Omnideck6 is for £500 ($857) a day to test out your own software... or maybe even to throw a VR party.