Up To Speed | Making a Virtual World Reality
As technology continues to evolve offering us fresh new opportunities, training provider Up To Speed Training & Assessment Ltd are embracing the potential on offer. Working in partnership with Highway Traffic Management Ltd (HTM), they are developing VR applications to be incorporated across several aspects of both businesses.
The idea was originally presented by Highway Traffic Management to Up To Speed Training & Assessment, as they recognised the possibilities VR offered but were unsure how it could be incorporated into their current training program, both Company specific and industry specific.
Following a consultation period with Up To Speed, developments are underway to develop the introduction of VR as a standard operating procedure within the business and hopefully in the future across the industry.
Managing Director Adrian Pulham of Up To Speed Training & Assessment Ltd commented:
“The applications VR offers are exciting, not just from a training perspective but we envisage ways it can be applied across other areas of business. As one of the UK’s leading sector scheme 12 training providers, a couple of years ago we were approached with a view to looking at the potential for incorporating 3d imaging into training scenarios. However, albeit a step in the right direction, I didn’t feel it offered any authenticity in what operatives were likely to face when entering the carriageway for the first time- after all, it’s an extremely high-risk environment to earn a living.
[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 559808,559809,559810,559811″ link=”lightbox” width=”150″ height=”150″ title=”never”]
3d images are slow and deliberate and totally lacked any atmosphere, the noise, the close proximity of passing vehicles was just not there, and candidates who we showed prototype versions soon became disengaged as they were just so clinical and drawn out. VR is the closest thing to a more real experience with the benefit of demonstrating this in a controlled environment that doesn’t expose candidates to unnecessary risk.
The cost of introducing this technology is surprisingly reasonable and can be achieved from as little as £300 per unit, it also offers flexibility to be adapted and updated without any extra costs apart from the time taken to film the new aspect.
In the forthcoming weeks, we aim to be offering all candidates attending training with Up To Speed, initially for the entry level courses, an opportunity to don the VR headset(s) and experience what it actually- would be like to work on the highway, whether at our centre of our clients premises.
As well as the training applications, we are working with HTM to introduce VR into various business activities like site audits, their health & safety induction program and, also to bring their method statements to life.
Operatives will be able to experience the installation of a closure in advance of actually delivering it on site, aiming to increase familiarisation, competence and ultimately safety, while still in their depot.
The possibilities are endless; we’ve got other ideas for future applications so we are expecting exciting times ahead.”
Highway Traffic Management Ltd Business Development Manager, Marcus Casey added:
“As an organisation always looking for ways we can deliver a safer, more efficient service to our clients, innovation and technology available is always something we strive to develop. Virtual Reality seemed like a fun way to assist us with doing this, the lads really get involved and seem to get a lot from it.
We demonstrated recently at Seeing Is Believing and so far everyone is enthusiastic to try it out and we have had nothing but positive feedback.”
With two innovative industry powerhouses driving VR solutions, it seems from the reception and feedback to HTM at SIB that this application is destined for success. As technology continues to improve and advance, its benefits for the industry see no bounds. With increases in safety of paramount importance for anyone and everyone on our network, VR could be the most effective addition of all time when it comes to health and safety of our men and women out on the nations highways.