Organisatie - 9 februari 2016

Virtual drive on campus

Roelof Kleis

The WEpod drives around on campus every day. You cannot drive in it yet. But virtually, thanks to a convenient simulation, it is possible.

Jorrit Kuipers on the simulator of Green Dino. Photo Sven Menschel

The simulation is from Green Dino, one of the companies that moved into Plus Ultra at the start of this month. The company makes driving simulators and was previously located on the Agro Business Park in Wageningen. With the development of the virtual WEpod he joins the hype about the self-propelled vehicle.

‘Actually we joined a bit too late’, says Jorrit Kuipers, one of the two directors of Green Dino. ‘We heard about it when the project funding was already spent.’ A pity, Kuiper thinks, because Green Dino is good at traffic simulators. ‘Actually you have to see the vehicle in traffic. Does he have a mind? How does he react to traffic? With a simulator you can illustrate that well. Why were we not involved?’

‘But I do understand’, Kuipers continues. ‘In first instance they focussed on technique. The biggest challenge was to get the WEpod to drive at all. What we do is more something for the next phase in development.’ But that was not the end of things. ‘When we heard that they were searching for a place to store the thing on campus, we immediately stepped in.’  The WEpod is therefore parked in Plus Ultra during the project.

Subsequently Kuipers received the assignment of Wageningen UR to make a 3D simulator of the WEpod-experience on campus. The user of the application can hail the WEpod, join a ride on the campus and get off again. ‘During the ride you can request information on the buildings that pass and the sensors that the vehicle uses to find its way. In that way it is a nice introduction on the campus’, says Kuipers.

Kuipers is an alumnus. He studied landscape architecture. Green Dino was established in 1992. A few years ago the company made a virtual supermarket for market research and consumer behaviour. At this moment research is being finalized on the effects of nudging on eating behaviour of consumers. For this Green Dino build a virtual Restaurant of the Future.

The Wepod application, see the link above, will appear on the Wageningen UR website soon.