VR: Driver Training In Virtual Reality Should Be The New Standard

Virtual reality is starting to gain traction and be used for quite a few different things at this point, from games to media to music and art. It's also being used for driver training to some degree and there are multiple reasons why it should probably be used as a standard for training new drivers in various commercial fields as well as training new civilian drivers. Obvious reasons like driver safety, both for the driver in training and other drivers that are already licensed to be on the road, are front and center when it comes to using VR headsets to train new drivers. With virtual reality being the platform, the feeling of being on the road could be mimicked to where everything feels real but should a mistake be made there would be no fear of an accident that could damage to property or get someone hurt.

Companies like VR Motion offer products that could help the DMV provide this as a method for training when new drivers come in for the test. In addition to being a safer way to train drivers it could also save money. Establishments wouldn't need to have Student Driver vehicles which cost thousands of dollars, and instead could spend a fraction of that money on the VR headset and accompanying equipment needed to power it. With virtual reality being as immersive as it is the experience could also be just as effective as driving a real vehicle on the road with other drivers. Even companies like UPS are using virtual reality to train its drivers for certain situations, and these are individuals who drive for a living, day in and day out for hours at a time.

UPS' driver safety training helps the drivers identify road hazards and other obstacles they may need to avoid and they typically spend an extended amount of time over a period of days with the training before they hit the road. The same could be done for other companies who employ drivers, as well as new civilian drivers, though perhaps not for as long of a period if it isn't needed as things would likely change on a case by case basis. The point is that if UPS is using virtual reality to train its drivers then other companies could do the same thing as could the DMV. Of course these things would probably have to be approved by local city and state governments, but should approval be granted other things could change too. New drivers, whether for a company or simply for a regular license, would be able to drive with less stress due to fear of doing something wrong that could put themselves or others in danger.

Driver training wouldn't be the first slightly obscure use for virtual reality technology, and it's really not that obscure to begin with. Rather it's just not commonplace in regards to the majority of what VR is being used for. When people think VR the association is most likely going straight to entertainment. Video games, movies, TV shows and the like. There are plenty of other uses though. It's been used for surgery, learning in schools thanks to Samsung, and much more, so why not driver training? Programs like Flight Simulator have been around for decades and are used to help train pilots, so it only makes sense that VR could be used to train drivers both for businesses and regular Class C drivers licenses. Whether or not the use of VR in driver training becomes more mainstream will remain to be seen, but the technology is there and the hardware is available that would be needed to make it work as a viable option.

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.