Blog Archives - VDI - Only in Simulation

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November 18, 2019

Teen Driving: The Most Dangerous Thing They Do

Teen Driving - The Most Dangerous Thing They Do High schools provide many valuable tools for our nation's youth. But when inexperience meets inattention, disaster happens. There is no need to restate the agonizing crash statistics for our 15-17 year olds - they are horrific. So if the single greatest threat to a teen's future is a car crash, why are most schools happy to ignore it and just leave it up to parents? Schools do not leave learning science or math up to the parents and those aren't even dangerous to your health! There is so much promising technology out there for medical breakthroughs, reusable rockets, and the potentially limitless speed and accessibility of information. As exciting as those are, NONE of them will as directly affect a teen's future as a crash does. After all, parents, school board members, and local businesses all care about teen safety but have grown accustomed to ignoring "accidents" when teens are involved. They aren't accidents - they are MISTAKES caused by inexperience and a lack of "investment" in helping them anticipate the dangers of driving. We can help. by, Bob Davis CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive
February 12, 2019

Is Your Driving Simulator a Flip Phone?

Do you know someone who still uses a "flip phone"? I'm sure you do but what does that have to do with driving simulators? Any organization that owns a driving simulator knows that they are not inexpensive. It is only natural to want to use it as long as you can to maximize your investment, right? That's just what the owner of the flip phone says, "I paid good money for this and it still works". Well, simulator training effectiveness has changed dramatically over the years and if your system is older than the iPhone 5 (2013), you are seriously missing out on all the modern features. To make matters worse, your existing simulation vendor (unless it is us) does not provide you with periodic updates for features and fixes!  There are many $10,000+ "flip phone" grade simulators out there running antiquated Microsoft operating systems, non-HD screens and clunky cockpit drive-in movie style experiences for the teens.  If you want students to realize safety is important, then the system should demonstrate that you believe it is too! by Bob Davis, CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive  
February 4, 2019

Peripheral Vision and Teen Tunnel Vision

I didn't see that coming!"  Famous last words after a crash.  So why is that teens have the best vision and the best reactions but absolutely the worst crash stats?  It comes down to scanning techniques. The more "focused" a person gets the more they tend to stare at a fixed point. Since teens realize they lack experience, they tend to narrowly focus their vision on the car in front of them. Good adult drivers realize that dangers and surprises tend to come from many places that are NOT in front of you: - the pedestrian about to walk out into the crosswalk, - the car approaching the intersection much too fast or - the motorcycle that is about to pass you unexpectedly that you can only see in the rear view mirror. So at VDI we decided that having a very wide field of view (sort of peripheral vision) is really, really important to learning safe driving.   For our simulators, wow, you can look left and right and even "turn your head" to see way down the street. And we measure if you did! When we are done with them they KNOW to look all around, left, right, mirrors, and even behind the car before they get in the car. So from now on they might not see the note you left them about taking out the dog or cleaning up their room, but they will see that pedestrian! by Bob Davis, CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive    
January 28, 2019

A Driver’s License Doesn’t Prove Competency

It is a common misconception that once teens pass their driver’s license test they have proven they can drive safely.  After all, that's what the test is about right?  Well, no, not even close.  The role of the DMVs, Department of Motor Vehicles, around the country is more about passing the minimum bar, and I mean the minimum amount of knowledge and competency to get your license.  In most states, teens know beforehand the route they will taking during their test.  And many intentionally avoid left hand turns. Really?  If the inspectors thought the teen was safe to drive why avoid left hand turns? Or rain? Or night?  Web-based driver training companies are trying to make it as EASY as possible to get your license. On YouTube you can look up many of the DMV tests state by state and they have all the questions and the answers clearly laid out on video assuring the teens only need to repeat the answers they know are required. Why make it so easy to go out and do the most dangerous thing they'll ever do?  While it might make a parent feel better that their teen has a license - please, please don't consider them fully capable of driving safely! By Bob Davis, CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive
January 22, 2019

The “Life Bar”

Because of the way the teenage brain develops, involving teens in something active offers greater chance of achieving higher levels of engagement.

We know that everyone learns better when they are really engaged.  That applies to learning how to learning how to drive as well.   When it comes to "just driving around" even though you may be getting more experience, it still might seem pointless. For the current generation of teens, they've played many games where the length of the challenge is limited by their "Life Bar".  In other words, if you are successful (like not getting shot) then you get to play the game longer. So we thought, WOW, what a great idea for teen driver training. Now, Virtual Driving Essentials and Driving XE, our teen driver training products, have real time "life bars" running across the top of the monitors.  Safe driving earns you more time and making any errors that increase your likelihood of a crash deduct from your bar as they happen. Kids don't care about a score after they are done - they care about their score AS THEY drive. Plus, our company cares about keeping teens safe so the "life bar" holds great meaning to all of us.   By Bob Davis, CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive
January 16, 2019

Fleet Management: The Cars or the Drivers?

Fleet Management:  The Cars or the Drivers?

There are many publications, trade shows and job titles that are about "Fleet Safety or Fleet Management". Some years back we thought, "this is great, these people really care about crashes." Well, the answer is "sort of".

It is all too common for "fleet" to mean really only the cost of the vehicle, gas costs, leasing terms and other asset management metrics. I'm not saying those aren't important but they never seem to include the driver involved. Your employee, the one with the family that faithfully does their job every day. Where is the department that takes the same amount of time and attention to the employee as the key "asset" they need to protect? At this point we can divide up a typical large company. HR responsible for the people? Nope, not when it comes to driving. Fleet safety? Nope, they buy, sell, maintain and repair vehicles. Risk management (sounds right doesn't it), no chance except to the extent it affects insurance policies. You would think "legal" would care since multimillion dollar lawsuits are not uncommon in traffic related deaths. Never once hear of them focused on avoiding the crashes that created the liability. Worse yet, companies that DO have some driver training offer it to only those who "drive for the job". These are the same companies that often offer gym memberships; wellness programs; CPR courses and other services that are focused on keeping employees happy and healthy. And yet, a significant reason for an employee to miss work for an extended period of time is related to themselves or their family member being in a car crash.

Where is the driving wellness initiative?

by Bob Davis, CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive   Virtual Hazard Detection:  Corporate Fleet Driver Safety Training [embed]https://vimeo.com/112231426[/embed]    
December 12, 2018

Are Your Simulators Over 5 Years Old?

Driving simulators have dramatically improved over the last several years.  The 1950’s Aetna Drivotrainer simulator (pictured) was a combination of an automobile simulator and a movie designed for behind-the-wheel instruction in driver training classroom.  Believe it or not, even today simulators still exist on the market that use the same concept!  Just project a movie of a highway on a large screen in front of a classroom and have the students “drive” along in their simulators.  While somewhat entertaining, it is certainly does not provide the most engaging user learning experience. Unlike driving simulators of the past, today’s virtual trainers are much more targeted and effective at transferring training in a shorter period of time with far less expense.  Virtual Driver Interactive (VDI) simulators use cutting edge graphics computing power and monitor technology ensuring students are immersed in an engaging training session.  Our software programs showcase the very best combination of learning techniques, features and functions as well as the very latest in graphical engines providing superior visuals. So if you want to train your students in the most effective manner possible, it’s time to update your driving simulator.  That was then and this is now.
November 26, 2018

Driving to Recovery After the Injury

Visual scanning. Attention. Reaction time. Multi-tasking. Listening. These are all areas that can be problematic after a neurologic injury.

by Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation  
They are also essential tools people need to function independently in everyday life, like while driving.But did you know that driving itself can address all of these areas and more? It can. And we offer an opportunity to do so in a safe, effective manner using the Virtual Driver Interactive simulator. The Virtual Driver Interactive simulator provides a simulated on-the-road experience by mimicking the anatomy of a true automobile featuring a full cab design with seats, seatbelts, foot pedals, blinkers, and steering wheel. Using a high definition screen that simulates a windshield, it allows participants to “drive” in a variety of weather, road, and traffic conditions while also creating distractions and hazards that address concentration, reaction time, and other cognitive and visual skills needed when driving under pressure. “While the Virtual Driver Interactive is a way for someone to prepare for a driver’s evaluation, it is also a great tool for those whose goal is not related to driving,” says Rebecca Peltz, Occupational Therapist at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation. “The simulator is a creative and effective way to work on performance skills such as motor planning and praxis, emotional regulation, and cognition.” The simulator can also help assess the potential for someone to drive again. This is especially important to both patients and their insurance companies, because driving improves independence and community access while reducing the need for third party transportation services. “The great thing about this piece of equipment is it provides patients with an awareness of their challenges while also giving them an opportunity to gain greater confidence as they progress through the various scenarios presented by the simulator,” says Rebecca. “The simulator can feel like a game, but the reality is that it provides individuals with the skills necessary to function safely in the real world.” And that’s what Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation is here for. For more information about the Virtual Driver Interactive simulator, or other ways that we help patients reach maximum levels of independence, call Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation at 855.407.7575.
October 30, 2018

Simulation Training vs. VR Gaming: Proven Effectiveness vs. Proven Sickness

Declining Interest in Virtual Reality Headset-Based Applications

According to the 2018 Game Developer’s Conference survey, virtual reality gaming isn’t catching on as originally anticipated.  The industry is now backing away from virtual reality for training because of the technical AND practical hurdles.........and that doesn't even include hygiene issues, vision/glasses/contacts and the human factors of motion sickness.  Shared VR headsets are just at best a sideshow.  When someone uses VR, what the kid wants is the VR experience - not the purpose or messaging of the experience itself. In other words, using VR for distracted driving training leaves the student thinking about VR for Halo and nothing about actually deterring distracted driving!  Simulation provides for an immersive experience allowing the student to learn the skills essential to safe driving.

by Bob Davis, CEO & President  
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