Recent growth in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets have proved fruitful for various industries, including gaming, healthcare and retail. This growth is likely to continue; by 2021, the installed base of VR headsets is expected to reach 76 million.
Below, we look at transport, which is another area that VR technology is disrupting, specifically when it comes to driver safety.
In 2017 United Parcel Service (UPS) began using VR headsets as part of their new driver safety program. While wearing a headset with a 360 degree field of view, future UPS drivers use VR modules to identify potential road hazards. By encountering hazards in an accurately rendered VR environment, this greatly increases the potential driver’s proficiency in dealing with real life hazards.
This technology has the potential to provide driver safety solutions in an educational, as well as business context. Channel Island School in California uses VR to educate students on the repercussions of distracted driving. Akin to the UPS driver safety program, the VR goggles given to the students provide them with a 360 degree view of their virtual surroundings. Modules include real-life, real-time simulations and stories of those affected by distracted driving.
It is clear that there are huge advantages to using VR in driver training. The immersive quality of VR allows inaccessible or dangerous environments to be directly traversed in a risk free manner. This directness leads to better training and ultimately better skilled individuals.