Virtual reality to raise awareness of fatigue at the wheel
Amey has launched a new virtual reality application to raise awareness amongst drivers of the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. The new simulator offers a 360º experience, with sensations and movements which make the driver feel as though he/she were actually driving, in a way which up to now was only associated with the gaming industry.
The simulator is part of the training provided to 13,000 company drivers in the UK. The experience with virtual reality is a pioneering initiative for a company in the infrastructure business, having already been trialled in other sectors, such as the rail industry. Its aim is to provide training to workers and raise awareness to create safer working conditions for company contracts.
This creative technology project has been developed together with the Holovis company, and was recently presented to over 100 fleet and transport managers within the company, as well as to other providers in Oxford. During the next few weeks, the project will be presented in other locations in the UK, together with other driver training products offered by Amey.
The British Government’s road safety strategy identifies driver fatigue as one of the major behaviours to be targeted in awareness-raising activities. Shift workers, for example, are six times more likely to be involved in accidents than other drivers, both during their working shifts and in their journeys to and from work.
With a fleet of 7,500 vehicles performing hundreds of public and private services throughout the UK, 13,000 Amey staff drive a vehicle as part of their job, of which 10% do so in night shifts. Despite the fact that accident rates within the company are low, fatigue at the wheel is a factor that all drivers will face at some point. For this reason, Amey’s Fleet Management department considers this training vital to raise awareness amongst staff and help prevent accidents.