Ansible Motion, which has just opened a new development suite at Hethel Engingeering Centre near Wymondham, can re-create the experience of driving car models with £2m worth of immersive technology.

Company founders Kia Cammaerts and Bob Stevens, who met whilst working together at Team Lotus, first came up with the idea for a uniquely manoeuvrable layered base they have called a “stratiform” by playing with beer mats back in 2009.

And six years and millions of pounds of investment later, the pair are no longer sharing ideas in their bedrooms but employing 10 staff to refine the design of each platform to get as real an experience as possible.

Mr Cammaerts said other machines on the market were not as cost effective for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as his, with some causing motion sickness in those brave enough to get behind the wheel.

“When we started we thought this was something that ought to exist, and we’ve proven ourselves right,” he said. “The market has taken a while to catch up, though. This technology existed five years ago, and the market is just starting to really need it now.”

Mr Cammaerts said recruiting from Norfolk had been crucial to obtaining the talent it needed to produce the machinery, each of which is run by 16 computers.

“The talent in the area, especially from Lotus being based here, means all our staff are from Norfolk. We have some of the best automotive engineers around,” said Mr Cammaerts. “And the community and centre staff at Hethel have been genuinely important in helping us do our work without worry.”

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