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Racing games are known and loved, but here’s what happens when someone makes the game a little more ‘realistic’. Garnet Hertz, a professor at UC Irvine has taken an old Sega OutRun arcade cabinet and turned it into something more roadworthy.

The augmented reality experiment is made of the old fiberglass and wood cabinet of the arcade game that is mounted onto an electric golf cart. The cart’s motors, wheels and drive train were carefully concealed beneath the arcade cabinet.

The build doesn’t run on the original 68k processor of the original game, but instead runs on custom software. It works by taking video data from the real world through two webcams mounted on top of the cabinet. The images are converted into game sprites and displayed on the monitor.

As for the speed of the vehicle, the software changes it proportionately according to how fast you are going in the cart. Of course, the cart’s top speed is only a breezy 13 miles per hour (about 20 Km/h).

Creators of the game believe that the technology behind it can be used in other innovations, including using it to help those who are wheelchair-bound. Sounds really interesting from something born out of a game.

Check out a video presentation of the game here.

Perhaps this technology also can be used to help blind people to drive by providing sensory feedback of some sort when there are obstacles detected. It’s definitely an interesting experiment, no doubt.