Classic Out Run game cabinet becomes a drivable car

[Garnet Hertz], a professor and “artist in residence” at UC Irvine, built a drivable Outrun arcade cabinet for an experiment in augmented reality.

The old fiberglass and wood cabinet was hacked up and the motors, wheels, and drive train from an electric golf cart were stuffed inside. The original steering wheel and pedals were used for the controls. Although the top speed of the in-game car is about 180 mph, that was brought down to a reasonable 13 miles per hour.


The build doesn’t run on the original 68k processor. Instead, custom software is used to take real-world image data from two webcams on top of the cabinet. These images are then converted into Outrun sprites and displayed on the monitor. The software proportionally changes the speed of the in-game car, but it seems the difference between the game speed and real-life speed would be a little disconcerting. Although it’s not a real world track with the corkscrew loops of Race Drivin’, it’s still an interesting experiment in augmented reality.

Right now, we’re trying to figure out how to put this in our car. Outrun is now being reverse engineered, and the road layer code is complete. Does anyone want to take a stab at that build?