Garnet Hertz spotlight

He Gets Around

If you’re not having fun during your daily commute, postdoctoral research fellow Garnet Hertz just might have the solution.

Hertz has designed OutRun, a concept car that combines an arcade game cabinet with a real world electric vehicle. The system offers a unique simulation of reality. As the driver navigates the vehicle – which really moves, thanks to an electric golf cart drive train – OutRun’s computer vision system projects the surrounding environment as an 8-bit video game on its windshield.

Hertz, who assembled the project in the Calit2 Sensor Technology Lab, says he has designed OutRun to de-simulate the driving component of a video game. “Where game simulations strive to be increasingly realistic (usually focused on graphics), this system pursues ‘real’ driving through the game.”

And in a nod to GPS systems, it also explores the consequences of relying on a computer model of the world as a navigation tool.

OutRun made its Southern California debut last December in Los Angeles at the Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery. The project was part of the Make:Craft exhibit featuring works from artists who build and engineer unique, mostly functional devices that enable inventive ways to experience the “tactile world.”

The project also made a Northern California appearance at the Zero One Art Festival in San Jose, was displayed at IndieCade, an international game festival in Culver City, and at UCI’s own Beall Center for Art + Technology.

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