Advantages of Driver Training by Using a Driving Simulator

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Although the use of a driving simulator in driver training has a lot of advantages for the trainee, driving instructors often hesitate to use one. Students sometimes prefer to start their training in a real car and think of a simulator as a game. Yet, a driving simulator is definitely not a game: you learn the skills you need to drive a car safely.

Effectiveness
In a good simulator, the emphasis is on traffic participation, traffic rules, and dealing with traffic in realistic traffic scenarios, and not exclusively on vehicle control. And these are precisely the skills that are the hardest to learn in a learner car. A good driving simulator has the following properties:

The training focusses on automation of driving tasks, such as gear changing, lane changing, steering techniques, scanning when approaching an intersection, negotiating roundabouts, entering a highway, overtaking, etc.

· A large number of traffic situations are practiced in a short period of time, allowing the trainee to get sufficient driving experience. In one hour of time, the trainee can drive in a virtual world and encounter a lot more intersections than during driving in a learner car in the real world. Lack of driving experience in relevant traffic situations is one of the most important aspects in driver training and is an important determinant of driver safety.

· During a typical lesson in a learner car, the instructor has little control over instructive traffic situations: these occur more of less random. During lessons in a simulator, the instructive scenarios result in well-timed learning moments with a high training value, and guaranteed to happen. A simulator lesson has a guaranteed effectiveness for all trainees.

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· A good simulator has a ‘virtual instructor’, that evaluates the behaviour of the trainee continuously. It provides immediate feedback whenever the trainee commits an error. This fast and systematic feedback results in faster learning of errors.

· In a simulator, the students learn to drive in a safe environment without stress. The consequences of an error are not as serious as in the real world. When they feel safe and relaxed, most people learn faster and better.

The use of a driving simulator in driver training has a lot of advantages for the trainee, driving instructors often hesitate to use one. A driving simulator is definitely not a game: you learn the skills you need to drive a car safely.

The training focusses on automation of driving tasks, such as gear changing, lane changing, steering techniques, scanning when approaching an intersection, negotiating roundabouts, entering a highway, overtaking, etc.

· A large number of traffic situations are practiced in a short period of time, allowing the trainee to get sufficient driving experience. In one hour of time, the trainee can drive in a virtual world and encounter a lot more intersections than during driving in a learner car in the real world.

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