New scenarios boost virtual reality safety tool

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The latest virtual reality technology is now available to light rail operators looking to further enhance safety as part of their recruitment and training processes.

Funded by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, and similar to the system adopted by the DVLA for driving licence tests, the hazard perception tool has continued to evolve since it was first launched in 2020.

Following feedback from members of the UKTram Operations Group, additional scenarios have been added to reflect real-life incidents and recent changes to the highway code.

Steve Duckering, UKTram Operations Manager, explained: “The original software featured 15 ‘developing hazard scenarios’ that could be included in training sessions or assessments but now seven more have been added.

“These are the result of suggestions from a working group featuring representatives from the Operations Group, LRSSB and software developer Avansim who are working closely with operators to refine the technology.”

The software tool itself can be run on a mid-range PC (either laptop or desktop) and is specifically designed to meet the needs of tramways and similar transit systems, immersing the user in a digital virtual world where they can encounter a variety of both typical and unusual hazards in a recognisable working environment.

It’s capable of recreating a wide range of scenarios that take into account the behaviour of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users to simulate situations that are too difficult or dangerous to reproduce in real life.

“As well as providing a really useful tool for existing drivers to hone their skills, the tool can be used during recruitment to identify those with the most appropriate attitude towards risk while measuring hazard perception abilities in an objective way,” Steve added.

Further information about the updated hazard perception tool, including details of how to download the necessary software, is available by emailing SteveDuckering@uktram.co.uk.

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