Virtual Reality Training Used To Court Younger Driversby Jake Tully - Published: 4/05/2018
In combating the driver shortage problem, some companies and training programs are turning to virtual reality training in order to hire close to 900,000 drivers over the next ten, according to figures provided by the American Trucking Associations.
Providing new resources for the virtual reality training is Advanced Training Systems, an American-based designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators.
ATS CEO, John Kearney reports that using new technology is critical to bridging the driver gap, specifically in terms of reaching younger drivers.
“Part of the problem is generational,” said Kearney. “Figures from the American Transportation Research Institute2 show that one in four of today’s drivers are 55 years of age or older. The industry needs to recruit younger drivers, and doing that will require the kind of high-tech, high-quality training that younger candidates expect.”
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Kearney reports that in order to recruit younger drivers and provide them with programs that promote safe driving, an adjunct alternative to behind the wheel training may best be found in virtual reality programs.
According to Kearney, these virtual reality training sessions may also save companies money and resources in training drivers, with an estimated savings of nearly $40 per hour of savings in terms of fuel costs.
“As in practically every area of digital technology today, rapid improvements are being made in driver training simulators,” says Kearney. “At Advanced Training Systems, we have developed hyper-realistic, 360-degree virtual reality-based programs that combine realistic feedback and sensation, instantly interactive training, stress management and motion simulation to produce a ‘real’ driving experience—while all but eliminating the motion sickness common with other simulators.”
ATS reports that it has partnered with fleets and training programs across the country in order to provide VR training to incoming drivers to the commercial driving industry.
More information on the company may be found at Advanced Training System’s site.