Three people standing in Virtual Reality CAVE

Virtual Reality CAVE

The Invest WindsorEssex Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE is Canada’s largest publicly accessible VR CAVE. It provides an immersive and active virtual reality environment, integrated with state-of-the-art hardware and software. The facility serves as a teaching, training and research tool for the region and beyond, designed to support connected and autonomous vehicle development.

Virtual reality provides many valuable opportunities to aid in product development, including simulation, skills training, communication and collaboration. Virtual prototyping allows products and processes to be tested before final verification with physical prototypes is performed.

Accessing the Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE

The Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE is located at 3475 Wheelton Drive at the Automobility and Innovation Centre. Once you fill out the intake form, you will be connected with a member of the Simulation Team to discuss required qualifications and the potential project.

In order to use the VR CAVE, your business needs to:

  • Be an Ontario-based small/medium enterprise
  • Have fewer than 500 employees
  • Build software or hardware products for Connected Autonomous Vehicles that require testing and validation
  • Work on Automotive technologies and parts manufacturing that will be part of next generation vehicles.

If you would like to learn more about the Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE, please contact: 
Ed Dawson, Senior Manager, Automobility and Innovation

Simulation capabilities

Powered by ANSYS, Simutech and Virtualware, the Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE delivers advanced simulation capabilities, including:

  • 1:1 scale virtual reviews
  • Advanced manufacturing simulations
  • Colour and material studies
  • High-end data visualizations
  • Perceived quality evaluations
  • Virtual training
  • Walkthroughs (cockpits, buildings, etc.)

The advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous testing and engineering capabilities include:

  • Component simulation
  • Human-machine interface evaluation
  • Virtual drive scenarios

Visualization tools and technology

The immersive cave automatic virtual environment is ideal for design, engineering and simulation. The Invest WindsorEssex Virtual Reality CAVE uses 4 ft. by 15 ft. screens to create a cube room-sized virtual environment. It includes:

  • Four Barco UDX 4K projectors
  • Four 15 ft. Barco screens
  • Six cameras enabling full body tracking
  • 2000:1 contrast ratio
  • 3,840 by 2,400 resolution
  • 31,000 lumens
  • Active stereoscopy
  • Advanced real-time tracking smart track motion capture system
  • Finger tracking

Head-mounted displays

Head mounted displays (HMDs) are worn on the head or as part of a helmet that has a small display optic in front of one or each eye. These have the smallest footprint with lower resolution than the CAVE, but are easy to deploy rapidly. The HMDs include:

  • HTC VIVE Pro Headset
  • Oculus Quest 2 Headsets
  • 1,440 by 1,600 pixels per eye
  • 110-degree field of view
  • Data processing four computers running NVIDIA RTX graphics processing units

Time-lapse video

Watch our time-lapse VR CAVE build out video to see what the VR CAVE is a like and get a better idea of how this technology might help your business.


Our partners include:

Project Arrow

Invest WindsorEssex is proud to be recognized by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) as the Official eXtended Reality Partner for Project Arrow.

Project Arrow is a Canadian collaborative effort involving several key players in the nation’s automotive supply sector and post-secondary institutions to create industry’s first all-Canadian electric-drive, alternative-fuel, autonomous concept vehicle.

The conceptual design for Project Arrow was brought to life using the advanced capabilities and technology of the Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE. The Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE will also be instrumental in the next phase, where virtual prototyping will be an integral part of the engineering process.