Florida man invents 'Perspective Racing,' a new way to teach driving skills

At first blush, it looks like a car-racing arcade game. But it’s real-world car-racing, with a twist.

Mark Lynch designed the contraption after playing with an XBOX. 

"And anyone from a 3-year-old to a 90-year-old can do it," he said. "Trust me, after I’ve driven gas pedals all my life for 63 years, I’m not good at buttons."

Lynch is a multi-decade television production veteran. He was the Director of Photography on 23 seasons of the hit show, Survivor.

And while he’s still in the biz as we say, he has spent the past two years developing something on the side called, Perspective Racing.

"It’s taking your driving skills and learning them from a different perspective," Lynch said. 

No goggles. No graphics. No buttons. Just you, a monitor, the pedals, and a steering wheel that communicates with a camera-rigged remote control car.

"It’s not a game, it’s not RC electronics. It’s our own frequency that broadcasts. That’s also got to be zero latency. From that board in that steering wheel to the board in the car. It has to be zero latency. So when you turn it turns. Zero latency is when you see a video and you hear the sound, it’s instant. Imagine two of these little steering wheels sitting on your dining room table. You put your cars our on your driveway and you go drive them from inside your house. That’s how simple it can be," Lynch said with excitement. 

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Lynch set up a track for us outside his warehouse in Clermont, Florida to give this a try. The track was surrounded with props that were scaled properly – in perspective -- on the monitor.

"Everything has to be like Toy Story. Bigger!" he said. 

And then there’s the speed; again it’s about perspective.

 The car is on a 1/10 scale. So if you’re driving it at 10 mph, on the screen it will look and feel like 100 mph.

"Imagine you’re going 20, you’re going 200. These cars will go 60," Lynch said.

Sure, that’s too fast for Interstate 4, but not for professional car racing.

"Most drivers spend more time in simulators than they do on the track in their car because the simulators are so good now," Lynch said. 

He spent countless hours and utilized his TV skills to perfect the car’s camera placement.

"We went through a hundred different camera placements. You can’t drive it from the cockpit, it’s too fast. You don’t see enough if you don’t see the back tires. You don’t see the car’s side to side motion," Lynch said. 

At the very least, Lynch said his new project could simply train new drivers. "I would think if you drive this for a couple of weeks, you’d have a lot better skills driving a go kart or moving into any other race car. And that’s the whole ticket: learn skills before you’re allowed to drive at 15," he said. 

He’s even made the steering wheel apparatus wheelchair compatible.  

Perspective Racing is a mobile setup. Lynch will take it to the F1 Experience in Miami next month to show it off to crowds, where he hopes to attract some investment money.

"This will intrigue the heck out of people," Lynch said.