Is virtual reality the future of commercial truck driver training? There is a very real question to consider as companies such as VRMotion continue to develop their virtual reality training simulators. In fact, some companies such as UPS are already beginning to implement this technology among their new hires.
Targeting a Younger, Wider Audience with Virtual Reality
VR for truck driver training is particularly appealing as companies begin to look at innovative ways to attract a younger audience. Just think about it for a moment… many of the potential candidates grew up playing video games online so they may actually be more comfortable learning this way. Additionally, some carriers believe this technology will give them a larger pool from which to recruit drivers and allow these drivers to be trained faster.
Advantages of VR Training
So, what are the big advantages of using VR to train truck drivers? That’s a question that fleet would obviously need to consider before rolling something like this out. Those advantages include:
- Potential drivers get taste of driving truck in safe environment
- Ability to simulate more weather and road conditions
- Train more drivers, faster on their schedule
Disadvantages of VR Training
With every next technology, there are going to be some disadvantages. This is especially true in the beginning as things are worked out. Some of those currently include:
- Some people report nausea when using the headset
- Graphics and dashboard controls still need improved
- Resistance to new technology and adoption by DOT
While virtual reality for truck driver training still includes the rumbling of the engine and seat vibrations, there are some areas where it falls a bit short in creating the full “real world” experience. But can it get close enough to supplement existing training programs? And does the ability to put drivers in particular situations at any given point to see how they react help companies produce more well-rounded professional drivers?
One thing is for sure, as the trucking and transportation industry continues to move toward autonomous vehicles being the future, VR training can play a big role in that transition.
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