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A Geek’s Dream: Tesla Races DeLorean In “Back To The Future” VR Experience

The VR “experience,” shot for Tesla, will release on October 21, the famous date from Back to the Future II.

If you were to dream up the ideal geek-inspired car race, I’m betting that seeing a replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future face off against a Tesla Model S . . . with aerial footage shot by a drone . . . in virtual reality . . . would pretty much tick all the necessary boxes.

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Next Wednesday, the design agency Positron will release a virtual reality “experience” in which viewers can get a first-person look from the cockpit at a race between the DeLorean and a Tesla Model S P90-D. The date is no coincidence: fans know October 21, 2015, is the day Marty McFly arrives in the future in Back to the Future II. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the first film, released in 1985.

The VR video was shot with two custom rigs that, in total, had 15 GoPro cameras. One of the rigs was mounted on a Freely Alta drone.

Positron founder and CEO Jeffrey Travis tells Fast Company that the agency came up with the idea for a VR project combining a Tesla and the DeLorean from Back To The Future.

Knowing that the October 21 date was fast approaching, Travis says, Positron pitched the idea of the race, and it was on.

“The DeLorean comes from the past to our present,” Travis says, “to find that the car of the future is a Tesla. We insinuate [in the VR experience] that Marty is racing himself, DeLorean against Tesla.”

So which car wins the race?

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Well, Travis says, “The Tesla can beat the DeLorean by speed, but of course, the DeLorean can time travel.”

The VR video will be available on the 21st for Oculus, Google Cardboard, Samsung’s Gear VR, and YouTube’s 360-degree channel.

“It’s a geek’s dream to be in either of those cars, and experience that” race, Travis says. “Drones, VR, a DeLorean, Tesla, and Back to the Future. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Related: Virtual Reality’s First Person Shooter Problem

About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications.

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