One of the more interesting recent transport technology developments is the rise of virtual driver training, which creates an online portal through which drivers can virtually ‘drive’ routes, using available data – from telematics, schedules, route incidents and so on – to warn of likely issues and offer feedback on performance improvements.
Virtual Driver Training helps drivers to become safer and more efficient in their roles. So is there a place for this type of technology in school transport? We tend to see several common objectives in relation to school transport: chief among them, of course, is safety and security; but so too are efficiency and the environmental impact of transport. Let’s see how Virtual Driver Training might assist with these requirements.
Safety and security
Safety of passengers is an imperative with all forms of transport – and especially so in the case of school transport. Driver Training was designed with safety foremost in mind: its primary goal is to ensure the safety of passengers, drivers, pedestrians and other road users.
You have probably noticed increasing media attention on rising air pollution, which in some areas is being call an “air pollution crisis”. New guidelines contain a specific section relating to the ways in which training can improve driver behaviour. Virtual Driver Training makes it possible to embed the specific recommendations into appropriate parts of each route.
Effectiveness and efficiency
Where authorities are operating their own vehicles for school transport, efficiency of vehicles and fuel is clearly a significant factor. Driver Training has been shown to produce significant fuel savings by helping drivers to accelerate and brake more efficiently, reducing wear and tear on the vehicles.
In the three scenarios above, moving driver training online increases the potential benefits by offering greater data inputs – and ensuring data is always up to date. Virtual Driver Training also encourages greater driver engagement by being accessible at their convenience (whenever, wherever), and recognising, rewarding and retaining those drivers that are doing well.