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Acura Bringing Trippy “Mood Roads” Virtual Driving Experience to Sundance Festival

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Acura "Mood Roads" virtual driving experience color palette

The world is your mood ring in the Acura “Mood Roads” virtual driving pod

To celebrate its seventh year as the official vehicle of the Sundance Film Festival, Acura is debuting a unique virtual driving experience called “Mood Roads.”

From January 20th to the 28th, the new “Festival Village presented by Acura” will be treating visitors to this one-of-a-kind, full-sensory virtual driving experience, which uses brainwave technology to tap into 30 of the user’s emotional, cognitive, and physical inputs and create a custom environment with landscape, color, and music that adapt in real time to fit the user’s moods.

The teaser video below makes the whole thing look pretty psychedelic—sort of like Dave Bowman’s trippy journey through space at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey (or, to pick a more Sundance-y movie reference, sort of like one of those twisty dream sequences from Donnie Darko):


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Acura says that “Mood Roads” is inspired by the NSX supercar’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which has earned acclaim for its handling, acceleration response, and braking performance (though not, to my knowledge, its ability to recreate the experience of an acid trip).

Participants view the visual journey as a large projection on the inside of the “Mood Roads” sphere, as their ears are treated to music specifically composed for differing experiences and various other sound effects inspired by the NSX and other Acura vehicles. Acura is touting “Mood Roads” as “a highly personal 90-second journey with no two experiences being identical.” [Insert hacky “Sounds like my honeymoon” joke here].

“The Sundance Film Festival is both a platform for groundbreaking filmmaking and a showcase of innovative film technology, and the Acura ‘Mood Roads’ experience offers the tech-minded audience a unique merging of automotive and virtual technology they have never experienced before,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura.

In addition to the “Mood Roads” Virtual Reality Pod, the Festival Village at Sundance will also feature a relaxation lounge for guests and a full-size NSX ice sculpture. Acura is also asking celebrities to sign the hood of an NSX mounted in the press junket space of the Acura Studio, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.


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  • Patrick GrieveContributor

    Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.