Best ways to implement immersive training for professional drivers

By Ferenc Boroczky - 18.01.2021 - Company Update

Much of the world remains disrupted from its usual flow, and while several industries have been severely hampered by efforts to contain rising infection rates of COVID-19, our basic need for food and essentials remains constant. To ensure supermarket shelves don’t run out of essential supplies, the logistics sector continues to connect manufacturers with consumers, and key to this are professional drivers. Our last blog looked at the potential immersive technologies have in the coming decade, and in our latest blog, we look specifically at how to implement this with driver training.

Picture Credit: Ferenc Boroczky - FM Conway - Train-the-Trainer Session
Identify measurable objectives

Before implementing an immersive training program, consider what some of the challenges are in delivering the existing version of it. In the case of Safe Urban Driver training, one of the biggest pain points is the number of hours it takes drivers to go out on the road, to experience what it’s like to navigate city roads and the dangers vulnerable road users face. With most drivers often reluctant to undertake this training, an easy measurable goal is driver engagement.

Therefore ensuring strong analytics and data is collected from the training will enable businesses to effectively measure the relevant success of the program rollout.

Preparation and implementation

Now that the drivers and team leaders have been convinced of the benefits of attending a blended learning immersive session indoors rather than on-the-road training, the next stage is identifying the best trainers to deliver the sessions. A ‘train the trainer’ workshop is essential to walk them through the whole course, including demonstrating how it aligns with industry regulatory requirements, the benefits and applications of mixed reality techniques and how straightforward it can be to deliver the course.

Businesses also need to consider the logistics of rolling out the training, including the length of sessions, how to structure the workshops and the resources required for the training. 

Health and safety

Ideally there should be enough Mobile Virtual Reality headsets for each attendant in the workshop and at the start and end of each session, facilitators should ensure antibacterial wipes are used to sanitise each headset, mobile and any other equipment used on the day. If nothing else, the pandemic has enforced more stringent sanitisation of our working spaces and this will likely remain in place in the coming months. 

Prolonged use of VR headsets can also cause nausea in users, especially those whose physical condition puts them at higher risk of feeling unwell (lack of sleep, under the influence of drink or drugs and anxiety). Facilitators must ensure they highlight these risks and remain alert to any participants showing any signs of unease during use of the headsets. The videos used in driver training are 360 degree clips designed to show the full spectrum of perspectives from the driver and vulnerable road user’s views. This is one of the key strong points of the immersive alternative to on-the-road driver training, so it’s essential participants feel comfortable with this part of the workshop.

"The beauty of immersive training is that it is scalable, easily repeatable and offers tremendous autonomy."

For some businesses, a simple solution to implementing immersive training programs is to consider a pilot. Try a version of the training required on a small scale.

The beauty of immersive training is that it is scalable, easily repeatable and offers tremendous autonomy. Immersive technologies such as virtual reality allow training participants to experience any situation from the safety of a classroom, with the benefit of a deeper understanding of what is being taught, better engagement, invaluable insights and time saved.

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