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Does Simulator Based Training Help Driving?

Simulation training is fast becoming an essential learning tool in various fields. It is believed that simulation-based training brings real-world situations to a trainee and help him prepare for real-world situations. Simulation training is the use of basic computer equipment and software to create real-world scenarios in such a way that whoever is using it sees and feels exactly the way he will if these scenarios happen in a real-life situation. The technologies most simulator training use have been designed to stimulate reactions that will typically be given, assuming it was a real world situation.

Simulation in driving training

In recent times, the use of simulation training has been adopted in driving lessons in Europe and the rest of the word. These simulator based trainings for driving have been made such that it can teach different types of cognitive skills needed to deal with all manner of road and traffic conditions. Asides from the fact that simulation-based training may be of great help to the world of driving, the simulator-based training is fast becoming a major characteristic of driving training curriculum in top driving schools across the globe.

According to research carried out to test the effect of a simulation-based training intervention on novice drivers’ hazard handling performance. A group of novice drivers were selected and divided into two. The first group took the simulator based test while the other group did not, and it was discovered that road hazard handling performance scores of those who underwent a simulator based driving training was significantly higher than that of those that didn’t. The test also revealed simulator-based training showed positive effects in improving novice to anticipate and recognize and deal with hazards in simulated driving.

Though, there are lots of advantages accrued to simulator-based driving, but a number of disadvantages come in between the mix too. It has been opined that low fidelity simulators may evoke unrealistic driving behavior and some critics have often pointed out that real dangers and real consequences of actions do not occur in a driving simulator, hence giving rise to a false sense of safety, competence, and responsibility. Another disadvantage of simulation-based driving training is that a growing number of evidence has shown that driving simulator measures are predictive for on-road driving performance. However, only a few studies have actually investigated whether skills learned in a driving simulator transfer to real life road experience. Also, simulator discomfort such as simulator sickness symptoms may reduce the effectiveness of the training and negatively affect the usability of the simulator, especially for older people.

Benefits of simulator-based training in driving

Gives ample time to repeat lessons until the lesson is mastered.

Since it is immersive in nature and evokes substantial aspect of a real word response, it could be a way to develop the driving knowledge, skills and cognitive ability to intend drivers without necessarily exposing them to risks inherent in physically taking driving lessons. It offers good scope for teaching learners all that they require to becoming excellent drivers. The realistic scenarios and situations designed will help students practice repeatedly until they learn how to accurately react given the same kind of circumstances simulated for them in real life situations. E.g., separate driving tasks such as lane changing, turning at an intersection, reversing can all be repeated without the trainee being distracted or exposed to life-threatening situation if it were to be done in real life.

Simulator-based driving makes creation if every kind of scenario possible.

There are different thousands of possible scenarios that can lead to accidents while driving. Many of these cannot be captured in a physical driving training. A simulator-based driving training makes it possible to create any kind of scenario, design any kind of situation for a driver to get himself acquainted with. If for instance, an intending driver needs to learn how to coordinate himself while driving in an area where there is heavy traffic and cases of accidents are often reported, a real-life example of that can be simulated, the driver drives through in the simulation, and his responses are analyzed. The benefits of being able to freely make mistakes without dire consequences that come with making the same mistakes in a real-life situation cannot be overemphasized. This will make the driver better prepared for the scenario if it happens in a real-life situation.

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Data records and analyses

Another amazing benefit of simulating based driving is the possibility of taking records of every action taking by a student. These data can be analyzed and the result generated could be used to teach the students better. If a student makes a wrong decision in approaching a particular simulated scenario, the recorded data can enable the teacher and the student look at the scene all over again and see how the student can better approach the same scenario the next time. Because training can be taken at any time of the day, in any weather, simulated based driving training eliminates the restrictions on training time as it can be done at any time of the day regardless of weather and other environmental elements.

Excellent platform for feedback and instructions

A simulator gives the more opportunity for trainees to get proper feedbacks on how they have performed than they might get in real life essential driving training sessions. When students have access to these feedbacks especially in a case where they made a wrong decision during the course of the training that can lead to driving complications, they can usually help the students and their instructor review the decisions, look at it in a different way or angle which leads to an overall better learning experience.

Cost effective for driving schools

Simulator-based training might be more cost efficient for driving schools. A lot of operating cost will be reduced by more than half on a long run if driving schools begin to adopt it fully. The cost of the physical maintenance of cars such as fueling, servicing, repairs, etc. are overhead costs that keeps occurring over and over again in providing the traditional driving school education. Driving schools can do away with these overheads if they integrate simulator based driving training into their curriculum.

In conclusion, simulator-based training in driving is really worthy of consideration as it is making learning easy for both driving trainer and trainees. The consistent research and development being carried out on technology and simulation-based training is getting better with time, and it is fast becoming a pathway for effective essential driver training lessons.

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About Thomas Anderson

One comment

  1. interesting blog on simulator driver training it was very informative one should surely read it

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