Serious Labs targets truck drivers
By Lindsey Anderson26 May 2022
Serious Labs, a longtime provider of virtual reality (VR) training simulators for access and construction equipment, is currently piloting a new Commercial Vehicle (CV) VR simulator geared toward the trucking industry.
“The North American truck driving industry is facing unprecedented challenges and needs as much support as it can get,” said Jim Colvin, CEO, Serious Labs. “With the colossal uptick of e-commerce, the demand for truck drivers is greater than ever. The labor shortage is only growing, road safety remains an issue and attention to carbon emissions is critical.”
The CV training simulator will include skills assessment and onboarding for new hires, as well as annual refresher training for experienced drivers. By eliminating the fuel and maintenance costs of training, trucking companies will see reductions in costs and carbon emissions, Serious Labs said.
The simulator is also being designed for use by commercial driving schools. Serious Labs projects it will be able to replace a majority of the in-yard and in-cab training time for new drivers in Canada and the US. Serious Labs is currently finalizing its alpha prototype and preparing for a customer pilot this summer.
With partial funding of $7.3M by the governments of Canada and Alberta, Serious Labs is now seeking additional investment to bring the product to market. The simulator is projected to offer numerous benefits to the transportation industry, including: reducing accidents and fatalities, addressing driver shortages through more efficient and focused training, engaging a new and diverse generation of drivers, lowering operating costs for carriers, and reducing climate impact by offsetting hundreds of trucks’ worth of greenhouse gasses.
According to Serious Labs, the new simulator will contain all of the curriculum for the in-yard and in-cab components of Canada’s Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) content. The company also plans to align the simulator with the new U.S. Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) standard, which is based on demonstration of competency rather than a fixed number of in-cab hours.
The CV VR Simulator is entering the pilot for user testing with the support and partnership of the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) and is expected to be available commercially in 2024.