Edmonton-based Serious Labs has recently announced the development of a virtual reality truck driving simulator. The company, whose main focus are heavy equipment training simulators, is receiving financial and technical support from the Government of Alberta ($1 million), Emissions Reduction Alberta ($2 million), and the Alberta Motor Transport Association (data and expert guidance).
“Our new VR driving simulator will not only help to create an expedited route to proficiency and safety for drivers, but a better, cleaner environment overall by lowering greenhouse gas emissions from both training and day-to-day operation,” explains Jim Colvin, CEO of Serious Labs, in the official press release.
The simulator is planned to pilot in Alberta, and it’s supposed to become commercially available in 2024 across Canada and the United States.
“This is a meaningful and important project for us, and we are excited by the journey ahead. Following our launch in Alberta, we look forward to making our simulators available across Canada, the United States, and beyond so that everyone can access these benefits,” added Colvin.
The new virtual reality driving simulator from Serious Labs couldn’t arrive at a better time because the new training standard deployed throughout Canada for Class 1 and Class 2 commercial drivers, Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT), will become mandatory for all provinces by 2024, requiring new drivers to obtain over 100 hours of training time.
“By replacing in-vehicle training time with VR simulators, Serious Labs has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta’s and Canada’s transportation sectors,” said Steve MacDonald, CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta.
Besides helping reduce emissions caused by driver training, the simulator can also be used to let drivers experience dangerous situations on the road to help them react better should they really encounter them in the wild.