Car Culture

Gran Turismo 5's 'GPS-track day' feature demoed

Polyphony Digital demonstrates its new Data Logger Visualization technology side-by-side with actual video footage.

Gran Turismo Data Logger Virtualization demo
Can you tell which is real and which is a game? Probably, but it's a close call. Polyphony Digital

Last week, we showed you Toyota's FT-86 G Sport concept and highlighted a very cool feature called "GPS-track day" that allows users to playback GPS replays from a real life racetrack session on their copy of Gran Turismo 5 for the PS3. Polyphony Digital, maker of the Gran Turismo franchise, has released even more information about the system and a demo video. As it turns out, there's more to it than just GPS positioning.

The proper name for the "GPS-track day" feature is Gran Turismo Data Logger Visualization. When an appropriately equipped car is driven on a racetrack, the Data Logger tracks the vehicle's position around the track and stores lap data. In addition to GPS data, the Logger also interfaces with the car's Controller Area Network (CAN) to record steering angle, throttle position, braking force, G-forces, engine speed, and even individual wheel speed. All of this data is used to create an accurate representation of what the car is doing as it makes its way around the track.

As we discussed before, this data is stored on a memory card of some sort and uploaded to your PS3 for use in Gran Turismo 5 for game engine replays. Players can then race against a ghost car of themselves to try to best their times.

So, how realistic is the data that's captured? Toyota and Polyphony Digital have released the following video of a race-prepped Lexus IS-F rounding Japan's Fuji Speedway with side-by-side footage with the Data Logger Visualization. The results are quite impressive.