Advanced Trucking Simulator Unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Kentucky, USA

Mid America Trucking Show (MATS) 2016, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

Release Date: Thursday, March 31, 2016

5DT (Fifth Dimension Technologies), a training simulator and virtual reality pioneer, today unveiled their state-of-the-art advanced trucking simulator.

“We optimized every element of the simulator to offer fleet operators and trainee drivers a highly realistic and unparalleled training experience. This included ultra-high definition (UHD) screens, active force-feedback steering, a 6-axis motion base, customer-specific virtual terrains and routes and manufacturer-specific realistic cabs. We want to set the new standard for trucking simulators.” Said Paul Olckers, CEO of 5DT.

The simulator provides real benefits for driver recruitment, initial training, advanced training and continuous improvement.

In terms of recruitment, it allows a fleet operator to select the best candidates. Recruits that already has a commercial driver’s license (CDL), can be assessed based on the benchmarks of the fleet operator. The potential of unlicensed recruits can be determined.

During initial training, candidates can be trained faster, all learning outcomes can be covered, a higher training success rate can be achieved and everyone can be brought to a higher level with standardised training.

During advanced training, drivers can be made safer and more economical. They can be prepared for emergency scenarios like brake failures, tire blowouts and jackknives in a controlled classroom environment, 24/7/365. Wear and tear, abusive gear shifting, brake abuse and tire use can be reduced and defensive driving can be promoted. Trainees can be taught how to drive more economical by optimizing the torque of their truck.

The simulator is ideal for continuous improvement where risk can be continuously identified and reduced. Fleet telematics information can be used to determine the targeted training required to improve specific skills. The simulator provides accurate reporting of driver progress over time. Skills gaps can be identified and closed, based on benchmarks. According to Martin Schehle, Business Improvement Manager of 5DT, “Interfacing the 5DT advanced trucking simulator with your fleet’s telematics system brings in a new era of targeted training by allowing real individual driver performance data to guide your training requirements.”

The elements of the advanced trucking simulator are shown in the following image.

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Advanced Trucking Simulator Elements

Classroom screen [left], simulator base system (SimBASE) with simulated cab (SimCAB) [middle], visual display system [top-middle] and instructor station [right]. The SimCAB is positioned on top of the motion base.

The simulator consists of a simulator base system (SimBASE) and a simulated cab (SimCAB). The SimBASE is a 6-sided (hexagonal) structure that includes a 3-screen visual display system, a motion base and a rear door to swap SimCABs.

The trainee sits in the SimCAB and views the virtual environment on the ultra-high definition (UHD or 4K) visual display system. The wide field of view provides peripheral vision similar to that experienced in a real truck. Rendered side-view and kerb-view mirrors complete the visual experience. A surround-sound audio system (5.1 standard) provides aural cues to the trainee.

The classroom screen enables observers (also sometimes referred to as back-seat drivers) to learn from the trainee in the hot seat.

The simulated cab (SimCAB) is an accurate representation of the cab of the real vehicle. The 5DT SimCAB is built with real manufacturer’s parts.

The SimCAB is mounted on top of a 6-axis electrical motion base. The motion base provides realistic motion cues of the moving vehicle.

SimCABs may be swapped out in less than 3 minutes without the use of any tools or a crane. One SimCABs is rolled out (on a transport dolly) of the SimBASE via the rear door and another (different) SimCAB is rolled in.

The SimCAB features active force-feedback steering. This enables the trainee to experience realistic steering effects like tire blowouts and uneven road surfaces. The SimCAB also offers different transmission options like manual, semi-automatic and automatic gearboxes.

The trainer controls the simulation from the training station. The trainer controls training scenarios and initiate weather effects (rain, snow, ice, fog), time of day (day, dusk, night, dawn), critical scenarios (tire blowouts, jackknives) and vehicle failures. The simulator records up to 70 unique operator errors. At the end of a training session a report is generated.

The 5DT advanced training simulator provides real benefits in terms of safety, productivity and vehicle maintenance. 5DT’s vision is: “We make drivers Safer, more Productive and less Destructive! TM”.

A fully operational simulator will be available for product demonstrations at Booth 63229 at the Mid America Trucking Show (MATS).