A Techy’s Dream Becomes Reality

Alex being interviewed about his car simulator on a Romanian TV channel

Alex being interviewed about his car simulator on a Romanian TV channel

Every once in a while, we feature a different side of Adobe Life – our employees outside the office. Today, the highlight’s on Alex R., an engineering manager in Adobe Romania, who’s passionate about race cars and how he’s turned his childhood dream into reality.

Living life to the fullest, Alex enjoys traveling, playing his guitar, and of course, racing cars. During the day, he works with his team to develop Adobe’s identity management services. In his spare time, he’s been laser-focused on his childhood dream of designing and building a race car simulator. In fact, he’s been working tirelessly on his dream for three years now.

Alex recalls one of his blog posts in the early days of his project dating back to 2010. It read “…I dream about all things high-tech for my car simulator. All that wonderful technology that you would see on TV built by NASA to train their astronauts. I’d like technology like that in my car simulator, but who knows what may come out of this project.”

Alex's car simulator

Alex’s car simulator

Slowly but surely, Alex’s car simulator began to take shape over the years. His project began with the purchase of a second-hand BMW E36 model dashboard, a steering wheel and an ATX power source from an old PC. Then, an Arduino board, some low-level coding, and a brand new force feedback joystick, which was transformed in to a H-shifter. By early 2013, the pieces of Alex’s dream were put together and tested. Throughout both the design and the build phases, Alex was faced with a number of unexpected technical challenges that he overcame by hours of research and self-study.

What catapulted Alex to fame was a YouTube video of him putting together the components of his car simulator. The video became an internet hit and went viral. Before he knew it, Alex was being interviewed by one of Romania’s top TV channels for his accomplishment. His simulator was even put to the test against a commercially available unit, and it successfully scored higher marks for its “real feel” factor.

Reflecting on the experience, Alex mentioned that his dream materialized because he combined two of the greatest passions in his life – cars and technology. What’s next? Well, Alex tells us that there are already plans in place for him to appear on another TV series.