Building My Own Driving Simulator

in STEMGeeks6 months ago (edited)

Making my own driving simulator is something that I've wanted to do for a few years. I've looked into getting those really expensive racing platforms that move the seat to make it fell like you are actually going into the turn and such(ex: A few months ago I decided thats not what I wanted to do but instead wanted to get a junker car, cut off most of it except the driver's seat and front passenger seat and use that for the simulator.

Image from this reddit post

What I want is something like the the picture above. I don't know if I want to fully cut off the back of the car, but thats something I'm considering for now.

What I want to do differently is to use the car's actual wheel and pedals instead of buying third party ones. This is where I think that it'll get a lot harder, but a lot more fun if it does become a reality.

I hope that this doesn't cost me too much. I already have a PC to run this so that'll be no problem. I don't think that a junker car can cost too much, maybe $200-$300. I will need a monitor but I'll test using the one I have right now and once that does work move over to a real nicer curved monitor. In my mind, I'm imagining powering the controls with a few arduinos and those are pretty cheap so I'm thinking that this should cost me about $500 to get started.

I also don't plan on getting this inside the house like the one on reddit does making my life a lot easier. This will live in my garage, eating up about half of it, leaving room to park one car still. While my parents might not like it, I'm sure I can convince them that its cool enough to keep.

For controlling the game with the car's own wheel and pedals, I think arduinos can do the job. For the wheel I'll need a gyroscope to tell me how much the wheel has turned and just use that to apply some turn in the game(yay learning how to do all this). For the pedals, I'm sure something exists that can detect either how far something has been pressed or a pressure sensor. Either way its detecting how much each one has been pressed and using that to send input to the game. I'm sure there a way to simulate it as coming from Xbox controller somehow. What I'm worried about is the shifter. I see no easy way to recreate that, and honestly the easiest thing that I can think of is to just rip out whatever is in the car, and just replace it with a shifter meant for games. It might not be authentic, but I'm willing to live with that change.

With a few months to work on it with my cousin, I think this can be a real fun thing and if it works 100% with no flaws, I might look into building more, even nicer ones with a much better car. I like playing around with things and get into new things very easily and I feel like I have enough skill to pull this off.

I'll probably be researching this for the next month, buying arduinos in mid May to see if I can program them to get what I want. If all goes well, I hope by early July to have bought the car and to have completely finished it by mid July so that way I'll have a month to play with it before I have to leave for school.

Though knowing me, I'll probably love the building part of it way more than the actual playing with it part, and so will look for something I can change all of next year until I can work on it again the summer after that.

Check out the next part here:


This is an amazing idea! I tend to play FPS games but always wondered about getting all of the peripherals to play Beam.NG and drive like in real life. Please post some updates if you do end up doing this! I would love to see the ending result, and the work-arounds needed to make something like this reality.

Will definitely be attempting to do this, and will document every step of the process so others can recreate it in the future.

Dude, that looks like so much freaking fun, lol. I knew an old guy that built a flight simulator out of his old Cessna that flipped over in a major wind storm and destroyed the wings, so instead of repairing the wings, he bought a new plane with the insurance money, cut off the wings and tail of the old plane, put it in his garage and basically did the same thing, lol. That was partially where I learned to fly, lol.

That sounds awesome too. Being more into cars than planes a driving simulator makes more sense for me, especially since my cousin agreed to bankroll half of this.

Oh for sure, gotta do you and what is being bankrolled, lol. I was really into flying when I was younger, wanted to be a fighter pilot, but got denied for flat feet, oh well... But a racing simulator like that looks super fun. I would want to do a gokart and make it into a real world mario kart experience, lol.

would want to do a gokart and make it into a real world mario kart experience, lol

It was either this or buy 2 gokarts. This was cheaper and both of us being college students(in 2 completely different fields, hes got no clue about tech) it made a lot more sense.