Ever wanted to hoon around the world's major cities without getting a ticket? Thanks to a new driving simulator and Google Maps, you can do exactly that.
As anyone who lives in a big city could tell you, driving is a pain. There's always tons of other pesky cars on the roads, not to mention traffic lights and men in nice shiny white vehicles with flashing lights on top just waiting to pounce on any an all traffic infringements, all in the name of revenue raising... erm.. that is, traffic safety.
It's fair to say that Geoquake's 2D Driving Simulator doesn't have traffic safety in mind, though. It's an ingenious flash-based overlay onto Google Maps publicly available map data that lets you "drive" a variety of vehicles, from sedans all the way up to articulated trucks across the 2D Google Maps landscape of your choice.
"Drive" is a selective word, here, as although you do have an onscreen steering wheel, there's no physics involved beyond a touch of momentum, and, indeed, no collision detection. With pedestrian safety in mind, though, your reversing speed is limited, and turn indicators are available. They're of absolutely no use, mind you -- but they are available.
So if you've ever felt like ram-raiding the houses of parliament without denting your ride, this is the tool for you. Equally, if you've ever wondered how hard it is to control a semi-trailer hurtling through Sydney's streets at 130kph, wonder no more. On the plus side, this is about as close as anyone's ever going to get to being able to park outside APC's plush Sydney offices.
2D Driving Simulator plays in Flash inside any compatible browser, and can be accessed by clicking here
iPhone 3G owners can, of course, play this kind of driving simulator for real, simply by going to the Maps application and switching on the hybrid maps view. We feel compelled to point out, however, that physics, momentum and, indeed, the traffic police do operate in the real world, so it would be wise to keep your eyes on the road.
Additionally, APC's testing in this area suggests that unless you're inside a strong 3G coverage area, driving more than 60kph will result in Google Maps failing to keep up with you. Driving more than 60kph inside a 3G coverage area -- typically the major city CBDs unless you're paying Telstra's exorbitant rates -- is an even neater trick that nobody at APCMag.com has never mastered, and we doubt anyone ever will.