Truck Driver Simulator Training: A USask Study’s Innovative Approach
A study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is exploring the potential benefits of truck driver simulator training.
The research is led by Mackenzie McKeown, a PhD candidate at USask, who is utilizing a simulator created by a Montreal-based company, Virage.
The simulator provides an immersive experience for the participants, with screens surrounding them in almost a 180 degree view. The seat has a motion based platform, and there’s a screen for the electronic logging device. This advanced technology is at the heart of the truck driver simulator training being studied.
The Need for Standardized Truck Driver Simulator Training
McKeown pointed out that the mandatory entry-level training programs across Canada for Class 1 license drivers aren’t standardize.
Some provinces might use different technologies like VR, some might use simulators, or some might use nothing. This lack of standardization is one of the reasons why truck driver simulator is being explored.
The truck driver training program can give drivers opportunities to deal with situations like winter driving, animal crossings, and night drive.
Prior studies have found that simulators can help in teaching drivers how to back up as well as to turn. These benefits could potentially enhance the competence and safety of truck drivers.
McKeown, who is from Humboldt, inspired to conduct this study following the Broncos crash. She surprised to find out the training program for truckers at the time wasn’t something that was mandatory.
Her goal is to make it a better work environment, attract more drivers, and ultimately protect everyone else on the road through the implementation of effective truck driver simulator training.
McKeown is currently looking for long haul truck drivers to take part in two different studies. The first is an online survey about truck stop amenities across Canada.
The second study is more involved and needs truckers to participate in a questionnaire, objective health assessment, a battery of clinical tests, and also some time with the driving simulator. Also this research could potentially shape the future of truck driver simulator training.