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New Simulation Technology to Transform Driver Training

Simulator training could be the future of safe driving for fleet companies in the North East of England.

The Effective Transport Solutions (ETS) centre in Sunderland aims to revolutionise employee training for fleet companies. Allowing drivers to gain experience of hazardous situations in a risk-free environment, the state-of-the-art facility is able to replicate different weather and road conditions in quick succession, offering a more comprehensive training experience than would be possible by simply relying on the UK climate.

While previously the options for fleet operators was limited to investing up to £200,000 in their own driving simulator or spending £1,000 per hour on hiring a mobile device, the Effective Transport Solutions facility presents fleets with a more cost effective training solution.

By exposing drivers to a series of unfamiliar scenarios, which would be dangerous if encountered on the roads, the ETS makes it possible to hone skills and identify problems with behavioural patterns. Putting motorists face to face with different weather conditions, for example, can help drivers to cope in the event of a real storm and reduce the likelihood of an accident.

The ETS centre, a service division of Tadea UK, is now the largest multi-simulator facility in the UK, including six semi-immersive vehicle (pod) simulators and one fully immersive simulator based on a converted Mini – with two more expected to be installed over the coming months.

Speaking as manager of ETS, Gordon Pattie said: ‘We don’t try to replace on-the-road training. Simulator training is a tremendous add-on.’

The centre does, however, promote benefits such as boosting driver efficiency and improving behaviour behind the wheel to cut fuel costs and reduce emissions. Indeed estimates by Tadea suggest that fuel savings can reach more than 10% - a significant figure for a large fleet over the course of a year.

While admitting there is no substitute for the real thing, Pattie went on to note the benefits of the simulator, which offers any weather conditions, any scenario on demand. The sheer variety means the technology could become a major part of fleet training programmes in the future.

The benefits are not only applicable to those in the machine either, as those in the training room can watch the action on screen, learning from the mistakes of others – with a camera trained on the driver as well as the road ahead.

Have you been involved in a commercial vehicle accident in the last three years? Call Winns today on 08450 58 87 87.




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