Serious labs are developing VR simulator for heavy trucks

Virtual reality provider Serious Labs expects North American trucking companies to be able to offer all driver assessments and training through a VR simulator for a new commercial vehicle as soon as 2024. This includes skills assessment and onboarding for new hires, as well as annual refresher training. For experienced drivers.

By eliminating fuel and maintenance costs for training, trucking companies will experience significant cost savings and carbon reductions.

The new Serious Labs simulator is also being designed for use by commercial driving schools. Serious Labs projects will be able to replace the majority of training time in the yard and in the cab for new drivers in Canada and the United States. Serious Labs is currently finalizing an Alpha prototype and preparing for a customer pilot this summer.

“The North American truck driving industry is facing unprecedented challenges and needs as much support as possible,” said Jim Colvin, CEO of Serious Labs. “With the explosive rise in e-commerce, the demand for truck drivers is greater than ever. The labor shortage is only increasing, road safety remains an issue, and attention to carbon emissions is paramount.” The good news is that the time has come for a comprehensive, next-generation simulation to do to the transportation industry what flight simulators have been doing in aviation for decades. Virtual reality offers a risk-free and proven method of training that can effectively reduce costs, accidents and fatalities and can get new drivers safely on the road faster,”

Compared to truck simulators currently available, the CV VR training simulator from Serious Labs will be more realistic, affordable and comfortable for longer periods of use.

“The issues with existing products in the market are twofold,” said Wade Carson, senior director of product portfolio at Serious Labs. “First, they cause drivers to feel sick within minutes of exposure, which means extremely reduced task time for drivers, eliminating skill acquisition during driver training. Second, they are not designed to deliver and measure critical components of the entry-level driver training curriculum, so they are not relevant. context to address the shortage of drivers.”

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Serious Labs aims to address these issues by mapping its new simulator to training requirements and implementing comprehensive measures to address “induction”, the discomfort that often arises from current generation simulators. The new simulator will contain 100 percent of the curriculum for the on- and off-cabinet components of Canada’s Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) content.

“Drivers can complete the full MELT curriculum content in the yard and in the cab, which takes 74.5 hours using traditional methods, in 27 to 36 hours on the simulator,” Carson said. “Then they can gain additional training in a commercial truck, or repeat certain simulator units to ensure they are High efficiency in all areas.

Serious Labs also plans to align the simulator with the new US Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) standard, which is based on demonstrating proficiency rather than a fixed number of in-cab hours. “This is an ideal use case because simulation actually builds efficiency faster than traditional training because the experience is more focused,” Carson noted.

With partial funding of $7.3 million by the governments of Canada and Alberta, Serious Labs is now seeking additional investment to bring the product to market. The simulator is expected to deliver many benefits to the transportation industry, including: reducing accidents and fatalities, addressing driver shortages with more efficient and focused training, engaging a new and diverse generation of drivers, lowering operating costs for carriers, and reducing climate impact by offsetting Its worth hundreds of trucks of greenhouse gases.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2021 National Fatal Occupational Injury Census, more than one in seven deaths occur while working in heavy trucks. “Simulator training provides a risk-free environment with realistic situations that do not endanger property or drivers,” Carson said. “We are able to simulate dangerous driving conditions that are not always present in conventional training, such as high crosswinds, deer slipping across the road, blown steering tires, driving with a fully loaded trailer, etc. Simulation is an excellent way to do this. Training drivers, and in An industry with a high risk of accidents and fatalities, this product will help save lives.”

CV VR Simulator is entering the beta phase of user testing with the support and partnership of the Alberta Automobile Association (AMTA). The simulator is scheduled for commercial release in 2024. To learn more, visit https://seriouslabs.com/commercial-vehicle-simulator/. To partner with or invest in Serious Labs to help bring this commercial vehicle virtual reality simulator to market, please contact Jim Colvin, President and CEO, at jim.colvin@seriouslabs.com.