Take a Trabant on a drive that's so realistic you'd think you were back in the German Democratic Republic when actually you're in a museum! The Trabant – or Trabi as it was known – was the most popular car manufactured in the former German Democratic Republic, and now a partnership between the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and the DDR Museum in Berlin has produced a simulation of what it was like to drive a Trabi back then that's unique in the world. Drivers can navigate the car through a simulation of a GDR high-rise prefabricated concrete slab housing estate in the East Berlin district of Marzahn that's projected onto the car's windscreen. The interactive exhibit goes on display on 13 December 2013.
With its know-how in the field of immersive worlds, and as a developer of innovative display and projection technologies, Fraunhofer HHI worked together with simulation experts from ravir Film and design engineers from LaWe-Media to reengineer an original Trabant 601 for the DDR Museum. A 3D high-rise prefab housing estate is now projected on the vehicle’s windscreen through which visitors can drive the car.
Along with the development of a virtual GDR world as a driving simulation, the original steering wheel, accelerator and brakes have also been modified so that visitors themselves can steer, accelerate and brake the car. This genuine hands-on driving experience is heightened by original recordings of the car’s two-stroke engine and the realistic 3D simulation of the high rise housing estate to give visitors a genuine taste of everyday life in the GDR.