Who would have thought that the next app to use the Unreal Engine would not be a game, but instead be a tool to help drivers adjust to a new route? Bay Bridge Explorer is a new free app that is compatible with all iOS devices and gives drivers a chance to see what the new route will look like when construction is complete after the Memorial Day weekend.
The Bay Bridge has been undergoing major seismic upgrades for the last few years and an entirely new section is currently under construction that should be complete by 2013. Earthquakes are unavoidable in this part of the country and the Bay Bridge is a vital thoroughfare. This new app is a great way for drivers to demo the new freeway before the changes go into effect.
Currently, the Bay Bridge Explorer app is only available for iOS, but it should be available for more mobile devices in the near future. The graphics of the app are quite good, but that is to be expected with an app that is based on the Unreal Engine. Infinity Blade is probably the most well known example of an Unreal Engine based iOS app.
Before and After Images
If the Bay Bridge Explorer app were simply designed to be a driving game, it would be pretty horrible. You can’t go over 60MPH, crash into anything, fly off into the water or even go backwards. However, this is not what it’s been designed to do, it’s not a racing game, but a driving simulator. It’s intended to give motorists a better visual idea of what the new lanes will look like after the alterations are complete. The Bay Bridge sees about 250,000 drivers a day and this app gives iOS users a chance to practice the route before the change goes into effect.
Although Bay Bridge Explorer is based on an outstanding game engine, it is not going to win any gaming awards and that’s ok. As a simulator, however, it gets the job done and delivers some above average graphics along the way. The developers of the app promise to keep the app updated as construction continues throughout the year. It’s nice to see Caltrans embrace new technology to help get the word out regarding changes to the bridge. Hopefully, more civil engineers will be able to release similar apps in the future as well. For tech savvy users this is a much better way to get the message out about the bridge than traditional TV ads. Now, I only wish that traffic on the bridge moved as quickly in real life as it does in the app.