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One of the key benefits of VR training is the safety factor, in that it allows trainees to make mistakes that could otherwise be catastrophic. So it’s unsurprising that Virtual Reality training is increasingly being used in transportation. Here we take a look at some of the exciting developments in the field.

Virtual Reality pilot training

In Austin, Texas, an Air Force pilot training programme has incorporated VR into its syllabus. It was something of a leap of faith, but when students started using the Virtual Reality simulators and 360-degree headsets, trainers found their reactions to be remarkably similar those seen in the real world. Pleasantly surprised, senior officers have hailed it as “a monumental step for the Air Force.”

And the evidence isn’t just anecdotal. There have been measurable results. This is down to
Two major factors, the first being the ability to ramp up the complexity of training scenarios. Lt. Col. Matthew Strohmeyer said: “In real life, an instructor cannot put a student in an intentionally dangerous situation and compromise flight safety. Virtually, instructors can put students in any situation to determine if they would recognise the danger and whether or not they take the right course of action.”

Secondly, the scope for repetition is speeding up the learning process significantly. Students can take home VR headsets which connect to their smartphones, meaning they can revisit training scenarios any time, anywhere. Strohmeyer went on to say: “Incorporating this level of technology and deep-repetition learning allows these students to see the flight environment so many more times than they would have in the past. This allows students to gain a much higher level of mastery of the skills they need.”

Virtual reality driver training

Earlier this year, Anglian Water started using VR to train their drivers. The main aim was to improve safety on the roads. The training portal is interactive, mobile and can train up to 35 drivers per session, bringing clear cost-saving benefits.

The programme gives trainees real-time feedback on their performance. This enables them to become more aware of their strengths, development areas and progress as they work through the sessions. While the programme won’t replace traditional training completely, it will act as a cost-effective supplement to existing methods. As well as safe driving, the course will also cover safe excavations, working at height and customer service.

Virtual Reality could also be used to train individuals preparing for their driving test. Earlier this year, VR Motion released a virtual training programme to help newbie drivers hone their skills.

A voice-over talks the driver through a series of basic challenges, including manoeuvring through cones and making emergency stops. Over time, it analyses the trainee’s skills and offers personalised tips on how to improve.

Again, the system isn’t designed to put driving instructors out of work – there are no other cars in this virtual world, meaning it only offers a limited range of scenarios. But it could, in time, help learners get to grips with the basics before taking to the roads.

Planes, trains and automobiles – the endless possibilities for VR transport training

The possible applications for Virtual Reality in transport training are almost limitless, whatever the nature of the vehicle.

In Poland, 72.4% of accidents on railways are caused by obstructions on the rails. So train company SIMTRAQ has started using VR to simulate conditions in which drivers come face to face with intrusion onto rails by people and animals.

Even astronauts are undergoing Virtual Reality training. NASA was an early adopter of VR technology. The need arose in 1993, when the Hubble Telescope needed complex repairs. VR was brought in to train the astronauts to handle the shuttle arm while weightless. Now NASA has a dedicated VR lab used to train crew for space walks, robotics operations and zero-g mass handling training.

Absorb Reality VR training

Whatever the nature of your work, talk to the team at Absorb Reality about how VR could benefit your business. We specialise in building bespoke Virtual Reality training courses that are cost effective, safe and delivered to your door. Contact us to discuss your requirements, and our experts will be happy to help.