In Town, Slow Down

A test drive with a serious twist

The brief

96% of pedestrian casualties in Scotland involve cars driving in built-up areas. The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland wanted to reduce these numbers and make drivers more aware of this issue in a way that really grabbed attention – using a fully immersive virtual reality installation set up in public areas across Scotland.

The challenge

Commissioned by the Scottish Government’s agency, Union Connect, we were tasked with creating ‘a test drive with a serious twist’ – a highly realistic scenario that places viewers in a concept car and then simulates a serious road collision when they least expect it. Not only did we need to design and model the concept car and subsequent crash, we also had to film driving along the chosen route in 360°.

The solution

We journeyed to Edinburgh and scouted out the selected route, before attaching two cameras to a car – one on the front bonnet and one on the back – and filming the car driving through the route. We choreographed it by slowing the car down to 10mph so we could increase the speed in post-production to simulate speeding. Once we’d filmed the route, we then used green screen, an actor and a specially created foam car to recreate and film the entire event again, with the actor in the role of a salesman. Finally we modelled the inside of the concept car, including animated hands on the wheel, and combined all the elements together.

The experience

The final experience was installed at pop-up locations in shopping centres in Scotland. Passers by were invited to take a test drive of a new concept car in VR. When they put on the headset, they found themselves in the driving seat as the salesman talks them through the different aspects of the car. As they drive through the town, the salesman points out that it’s a 30mph limit and they should slow down – but before they can do so, someone walks out from behind a van and they collide.

Over 500 participants took part in the experience, with 49% saying they would drive more slowly in town, 48% that they would pay more attention to pedestrians and 51% overall that the activity would probably, very probably or definitely change their future driving behaviour. A video of the experiential activation was shared on social media with over 44,000 views in the first two weeks of release, increasing the reach of the activity even further.