Now you can race real-world go-karts through a VR world

You can get behind the wheel of this moving go-kart and literally drive through a video game.

Donovan Farnham Social Media Editor / Roadshow

This is probably the only time a lag spike will cause you physical pain

Master of Shapes

The dream of sitting in a moving go-kart alongside Mario, Peach and Luigi is one step closer to reality.  

The electric go-kart company K1 Speed has combined video games through an Oculus Rift headset and real-life racing on electric karts. Racers will strap into karts with a Rift headset and race go-karts around a real track, but users will do all their navigating through the headset strapped to their face.

And like other kart-racing video games, there are power-ups. But those power-ups will affect the performance of the physical kart. If you grab a speed boost in the game, that will boost the kart's performance in the real world.

All of this is accomplished by 28 cameras littered around K1's Torrance, California track, which monitor the kart's location while a microcontroller strapped to the back of the kart monitors steering and pedal input. Computers then merge the kart's real-world position on the laser-scanned track with the virtual course.

Before you run out hoping to ride at the closest go-kart track, there are a few catches. This system is still under development and currently doesn't support multiple karts -- meaning you can't race your friends. K1 says it hopes to have this feature open to the public sometime in 2019.


Interactive studio, Master of Shapes spent six weeks laser scanning K1's Torrance track. Here it's represented in the game. 

K1/Master of Shapes