The system is being rolled out (at least initially) on the Japanese Domestic Market Toyota 86, a coupe European customers might more readily recognize as the GT86 and what we would call the Scion FR-S (itself a kissing cousin to the Subaru BRZ). Despite its name, the Sports Drive Logger doesn't have anything to do with competitive lumberjacking, instead, it's an integrated telemetry system that, as promised, syncs up with Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3. Developed in partnership with Sony, the system logs all manner of data – including satellite positioning, pedal depression, steering angle, gear selection, engine revs and vehicle speed – onto a USB stick for transfer to your PlayStation.
Once loaded into the video game system, the data recreates a virtual representation of your track run and displays it – along with all the raw data – as if you had lapped the circuit in the game. Drivers will even be able to compare their laps against their friends' through the system, which initially offers support for Fuji, Tsubuka and Suzuka, "with additional circuits planned for the future." We're still waiting for confirmation on if and when the system will be available in the US (with support for some of our favorite Stateside circuits), but in the meantime, you can scope out the details in the press release along with the video footage below for a closer look.
Toyota City, Japan, April 2, 2014―Toyota Motor Corporation will launch the "Sports Drive Logger" onboard telemetry recording device, an exciting new way to enjoy driving by fusing the thrill and adrenaline of track driving with the comfort and fun of home gaming. Designed specifically for the Toyota "86" sports car, the Sports Drive Logger will be released throughout Japan on June 2*1 with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of 91,800 yen*2.
The logger collects data passing through the vehicle's controller area network (CAN) and also positional data from its dedicated GPS, and formats the data for easy copying to USB memory. CAN data can include GPS data, accelerator pedal strokes, steering angles, brake operation signals, shift operation signals, engine speed and vehicle speed.
The first application compatible with the data is Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s racing game Gran Turismo 6*3*4 (GT6), a PlayStation®3*3 (PS3) exclusive. On April 2, a PS3 firmware update (version 1.06) will enable the input of driving data recorded at certain racing circuits into GT6's GPS Visualizer to let users replay track runs and race against their own or their friends' data.
Furthermore, by using the GPS Data Visualizer in conjunction with GT6's GPS Data Logger, users will be able to compare their own driving data against those of professional drivers, enabling study and improvement of driving techniques by practicing in concert with model braking, acceleration techniques and racing lines.
Initially supported racing circuits are the Fuji Speedway International Racing Course, the Tsukuba Circuit 2000 Course, and the Suzuka Circuit International Racing Course, with additional circuits planned for the future.
*1Limited release the GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race planned for April 2 through Toyota Technocraft Co., Ltd.
*2Includes eight percent Japanese consumption tax; excludes installation and other costs
*3Registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
*4Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc.