Evaluating the Use of a Truck Simulator For Training Drivers in Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving
N Brook-Carter, A Parkes, TRL, UK
The UK Department for Transport on behalf of the Road Haulage Modernisation Fund has established a research programme to determine the potential role of synthetic training in both ab initio license acquisition and also skills development in experienced truck drivers. TRL and EADS Dornier commissioned an advanced full motion base truck simulator and developed bespoke courseware for training truck drivers in safe and fuel efficient driving.
The potential benefit of the system as a training tool was evaluated in a large scale trial during which 600 drivers were required to complete one of nine training exercises. These exercises included fuel efficiency, low speed manoeuvres, acceleration and deceleration with different loads, poor weather, emergency exercises, gaps at junctions, and trails and unmade roads. The aim of the evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of these different training exercises in terms of training truck drivers.
In addition, the evaluation aimed to identify user groups who might experience more or less benefits from this form of training. Therefore, experienced, novice and high risk driver groups were involved in the evaluations. Further, prior to the trial participants were administered a questionnaire on their driving style, their subjective assessments of their abilities, a driver profile questionnaire and a questionnaire on their attitudes towards technology.
The truck simulator training was evaluated using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods investigating issues such as realism, simulator sickness, driver acceptance, driver and trainer subjective evaluations and performance before and after training.
This paper presents the method developed for evaluating the effectiveness of the truck simulator as a training tool, the findings from these trials in terms of the effectiveness of the simulator training, and the implications of these results for future truck driver training and licensing.
Association for European Transport