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Old 28-09-2013, 00:19
cly
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I've got a friend who is due to take driving lessons in a few months and she's wondering if amongst the plethora of rally and other car racing games for PC (not PSS/XBox) there is a basic steering wheel, gear stick and pedals driver console etc available.

She also has some sort of CD ROM 'learn to drive' programme and would prefer to use a physical interface as above instead of using arrow keys etc on the keyboard.

In the absence of a specific road version would a rally or other gaming driving/gaming console suffice but just using at normal speeds and one could simply not use the features that fire rockets at zombies or score points for knocking little old ladies over lol.
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Old 28-09-2013, 00:36
alan1302
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Playing a racing game would not help at all really - they are not designed to be driven at slow speeds.
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Old 28-09-2013, 08:43
Mustabuster
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Whilst it'll be better than a keyboard, the game steering wheels and pedals aren't really a good substitute for a real car. There's very little tactile feedback from game controllers compared to when you're actually in a car. Also I doubt there are many controllers with a full manual gear stick.
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Old 28-09-2013, 09:54
mred2000
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Don't bother. When I learnt to drive, BSM heavily pushed the use of their in house simulators before learners got in a car. I'm sure they were more advanced than anything you could get on the home market but even then they were an extremely poor substitute and I thought it was a waste of time compared to being behind a wheel.

She'd be better off putting in some time behind a wheel on a car park.
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Old 28-09-2013, 13:06
s2k
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Don't bother. When I learnt to drive, BSM heavily pushed the use of their in house simulators before learners got in a car. I'm sure they were more advanced than anything you could get on the home market but even then they were an extremely poor substitute and I thought it was a waste of time compared to being behind a wheel.

She'd be better off putting in some time behind a wheel on a car park.
Agree completely with this. When I took my lessons I had a session on the simulator and it was crap and didn't feel anything like driving a real car. Simply put everything was way too digital and not true to real life driving at all.

Find yourself a quiet industrial estate and spend some time down there on a Sunday afternoon or something so that she can build up confidence with regards to how the car responds and pickup the basic fundamentals of how to drive.
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Old 28-09-2013, 16:57
whoever,hey
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Driving with a wheel in a game is nothing like real life. Total lack of tactile feedback in the pedals and wheel etc, such as steering out of a corner is impossible in a game. Totally unrealistic.
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Old 28-09-2013, 18:30
Tal'shiar
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My first lesson was driving on the road and whilst it was daunting, I got a hold of the basics pretty quickly. Mostly its about learning to be safe and understanding the systems in place. Sadly no game has this, but its clearly an area a game maker could earn a huge amount of money on.

But ridge racer or gran turismo etc are racing games, at no point is the game going to teach how to do reversing round the corner or parallel parking.
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Old 28-09-2013, 19:34
call100
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Grand Theft Auto should set you up for today's driving conditions....
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Old 29-09-2013, 00:14
alan1302
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Grand Theft Auto should set you up for today's driving conditions....
Maybe a bit tame
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Old 29-09-2013, 11:39
Alan F
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Find yourself a quiet industrial estate .......
For her to drive on public roads, as found on most industrial estates, she must be properly insured which is unlikely.

Thus she can only drive on private roads, private car parks (Tesco, Asda will not be amused) old airfields, or the driveway to your extensive country pile.
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Old 29-09-2013, 13:28
s2k
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For her to drive on public roads, as found on most industrial estates, she must be properly insured which is unlikely.
Why unlikely? Many people have family members/partners that put the person on as a named driver for this sort of thing.
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Old 29-09-2013, 14:23
Alan F
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Why unlikely? Many people have family members/partners that put the person on as a named driver for this sort of thing.
I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of young people in this situation are NOT insured to drive the family car on the grounds of cost.

If she were then there would be no difficulty in Mum/Dad teaching her the basics of driving and the question would not have been asked in the first place.

Whether or not the family relationship will survive Mum/Dad trying to teach a teenage girl anything is, of course, a separate matter.
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Old 29-09-2013, 15:05
whoever,hey
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I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of young people in this situation are NOT insured to drive the family car on the grounds of cost.

If she were then there would be no difficulty in Mum/Dad teaching her the basics of driving and the question would not have been asked in the first place.

Whether or not the family relationship will survive Mum/Dad trying to teach a teenage girl anything is, of course, a separate matter.
Well this person is due to take professional driving lessons which dont come cheap!
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Old 29-09-2013, 18:37
PrinceGaz
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My first lesson was in a car-park of a retail-estate when most of the outlets were closed and the car park chosen was near enough empty. That's the best way to learn because you feel everything that is happening as you turn the wheel and use the pedals, as well as the action needed to change to the correct gear. You'll learn none of that with a steering-wheel and pedals controller hooked up to a computer.

The best preparation for learning to drive a car, is not to run a simulator on a computer, but just to ensure you understand the basics about how a car works, which pedal does what, and when you should change gear if it is manual transmission. When you actually get in a car, the most important thing is to observe what is happening all around you, including using the mirrors, something you will never get in a computer simulation.

You could attempt to get some practice in advance by playing Need for Speed with wheel and pedals on a computer, but that's probably not a very good idea.
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Old 30-09-2013, 03:58
cly
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Thanks for all the replies. She fully appreciates that there is pretty much zero real life physical 'feel' of driving a car when using a computer and that isn't what she is looking for.

She thinks she will benefit from being able to go through the repetition of starting a car and doing what you are supposed to in the order you are supposed to regards checking the mirror and signalling, also in following the Highway Code rules etc. The programme she's looking at purchasing stops and puts you back to start again if you fail to drive (follow the rules of the road) correctly. She was just wondering if anyone knew which was the best on the market.
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Old 30-09-2013, 04:27
Si_Crewe
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Sad thing is, even if you forget about the benefits of learning to use realistic car controls, there probably would be some benefit in using summat like MS Driving Simulator to learn about paying attention to signs, how to use roundabouts, filter lanes, t-junctions etc... if it wasn't for the fact that pretty much EVERY decent bit of driving software out there is made in the USA and, thus, forces you to drive on the right-hand side of the road, thus almost completely negating any benefit.
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Old 30-09-2013, 12:46
cly
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Sad thing is, even if you forget about the benefits of learning to use realistic car controls, there probably would be some benefit in using summat like MS Driving Simulator to learn about paying attention to signs, how to use roundabouts, filter lanes, t-junctions etc... if it wasn't for the fact that pretty much EVERY decent bit of driving software out there is made in the USA and, thus, forces you to drive on the right-hand side of the road, thus almost completely negating any benefit.
Just had a look on Amazon (UK) and been asking aorund and they are all UK left-hand side of the road. Although myself and my friend are no good at computer games so might need one that allows one to career to the wrong side of the road and weave back again and etc lol.
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Old 30-09-2013, 13:25
Si_Crewe
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Just had a look on Amazon (UK) and been asking aorund and they are all UK left-hand side of the road. Although myself and my friend are no good at computer games so might need one that allows one to career to the wrong side of the road and weave back again and etc lol.
What software are you looking at?
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Old 30-09-2013, 13:39
jonner101
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I don't think there is anyway you can learn to drive a car with computer software, there aren't that many controls to learn and 99.9% of the first part of driving is gaining the physical aptitude for the control of a real vehicle such as steering, braking and gear changing.

If you want to learn to fly then MS flight simulator is pretty handy for learning what all the controls mean but likewise when you have a real flying lesson there is really no comparison.

There may be useful applications available for the theory test perhaps.
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Old 30-09-2013, 19:11
Si_Crewe
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Must say, I DO think there's potential for learning about stuff like roundabouts, traffic lights, junctions and signs etc IF the software is good enough to depict those things accurately.

It's not so much learning about how to control a car (which, TBH, I think most people tend to find extremely intuitive - aside from learning to use the clutch, maybe ) that it'd help with but it's more the "roadcraft" that it could help with... IF you could find decent software geared toward countries which drive on the left.
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Old 30-09-2013, 21:29
cly
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Must say, I DO think there's potential for learning about stuff like roundabouts, traffic lights, junctions and signs etc IF the software is good enough to depict those things accurately.
That's exactly the purpose and also approaching them in the correct manner.

What software are you looking at?
It's not so much learning about how to control a car (which, TBH, I think most people tend to find extremely intuitive - aside from learning to use the clutch, maybe ) that it'd help with but it's more the "roadcraft" that it could help with... IF you could find decent software geared toward countries which drive on the left.
We've found someone who has the 2011 version of the software mentioned below. One can use a 'steering wheel' console (or your keyboard) in a virtual reality interactive test accompanying each instruction video. It doesn't seem to make clear if this is part of the 2013 version.

Apparently the only moan from the user is that the instant one makes a small mistake (not checking in a mirror or for a blind spot) it takes you back to the start of the particular section, as in having to restart the car and move off from the side of the road etc.

2013 version
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Driving-Test...dp/1843265753/

2011 version which definitely has a virtual reality style interactive test for each instruction video.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Driving-Test...dp/B00428MA4U/
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Old 30-09-2013, 23:01
LION8TIGER
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The videos may be of use for the theory test as well as learning the Highway Code but no use at all in learning to drive a car.
Lots of practice somewhere quiet (private land, car parks etc) to learn the controls and get confidence .... then proper driving lessons would be the best way in my opinion.
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