Honda has paired their new NSX hybrid supercar with advanced GPS visualisation equipment to recreate the hummingbird geoglyph, maybe in an effort to show off the NSX's all-wheel drive system.
For anyone not familiar with geoglyphs, they are large artworks found in the Nazca Desert in Peru. These drawings can only be fully viewed from a high altitude and it was created around 1,500 or 2,000 years ago. The lines are actually shallow trenches with the top layer of darker pebbles removed and the lighter colored earth underneath is what creates these lines. Over time the Nazca Desert climate helped the trenches develop a protective layer to protect the artwork from distortion and erosion. Besides the famous hummingbird, there’s also other figures like a condor, monkey, and a spider.
The original hummingbird is approximately 93 metres long, but Honda decided that a 1:1 scale just wasn’t large enough and according to MotorTrend, they made it ten times bigger for an impressive length of 963 meters. A team of engineers and technicians were brought to the El Mirage salt flats in California, along with a test driver for this project.
For an accurate recreation, the team used high-accuracy GPS mapping and tracking and a map of the drawing was projected onto the driver’s head mounted display. This will allow the driver a precise path to follow and give the engineers a look at the NSX’s progress in live time. In total, the NSX made 30 hairpin turns.
It may not look as impressive as the original geoglyph, but the finished recreation is still surprisingly close to the one in Peru.
I was actually expecting to see the pattern on the ground instead of just a design on the gps map. Still great to see the NSX go through those tight turns in order to draw the wing tips and feet, but not what I was expecting.
I think in the future we might see them do something with a virtual reality game since that can be mutually beneficial for both sides. If it's some game like Need For Speed then that will be a big thing covering many real life situations that enthusiasts are involved in.
This makes me want to visit Peru, but I won't be able to see the full geoglyphs unless I mysteriously learned how to fly a plane or helicopter. Think Honda will draw the other ones? They may not be as famous as the hummingbird but they're still amazing works of art.
You don't often see car makers creating another version of a promotional video like this unless the way its already made is as a short film setup to be episodic, which is is not. Shelf-life of this is short.