Impaired driving is a danger that costs $44 billion in damages annually and takes roughly 28 lives daily. Many states have invested in initiatives that attempt to regularly police in ways that get drunk drivers off the streets but there are still dangerous drivers out there. Virtual reality, in its early stages, has been used to educate in a handful of different ways: From exploring the human anatomy to learning new languages. Now, alcohol maker Diageo is using virtual reality headsets to give drinkers a close-up experience with a drunk driver’s car crash.
The video shows three different vehicles: One with a solitary woman, another with two new parents, and the last with a group of friends. The woman alone in her car had been drinking at a previous work celebration and attempts to overtake one of the others with horrible results.
While the project is a good idea at its foundation, it misses a great opportunity to utilize the immersion of virtual reality in this instance. Much of the impact of VR revolves around the fact that events unfold from a first-person perspective, but this is more of a 360-degree video that has a free flowing camera showing different perspectives from the crash, the build up to it, and the aftermath. In the video, the driver survives but others do not. The project is also focused on those of drinking age, but should possibly consider younger drivers that are on the verge of being able to drink legally and who could also already be partaking illegally. Nevertheless, this is another idea of how 360-degree media and VR can be used to educate and there’s no doubt more and more companies will be using it for the same.