Egis and Immersive Factory, a French start-up specialising in the design of virtual reality training courses in HSE (Health, Safety, Environment), have jointly developed a learning module to train motorway patrollers using virtual reality technology.
Real-life situations in virtual conditions.
As part of Egis’s contract to operate the A63 motorway between Salles and St Geours-de-Maremne in the southwest of France on behalf of the concession company Atlandes, patrollers can now get trained up in motorway safety and callout procedures by simply donning a virtual reality headset and picking up handheld controls.
The experience begins with total immersion in the working environment, where the surrounding conditions such as traffic noise, vehicle speed and weather events have been reproduced in very realistic detail. Behind the wheel of their virtual vehicle, the patroller spends a few minutes exploring their environment before coming across a random incident such as a broken-down vehicle, an object in the middle of the road or a serious accident causing injuries or involving hazardous substances.
As in a real-life situation, the patroller then has barely a few seconds to make the right decisions in this emergency situation: where should I park my van? What light signage should I use? What warning signs and markings should I install?
With this digital and pedagogical tool and in almost real-life conditions, Egis and its partner Immersive factory can therefore test patrollers on their knowledge of procedures but also on how they deal with stress.
Innovation to improve safety.
Through this innovation, Egis harnesses technological progress to improve the safety of workers and motorists on the road. As safety is a matter for all, our Group extends the benefits of this innovation to all motorway stakeholders thanks to the training module supplied through the Immersive Factory website.
All the new patrollers tasked with working on the A63 will obtain certification on completion of this course. As for experienced patrollers, they will be able to follow this training module once a year to keep their knowledge up-to-date. Their feedback has been very positive. This innovative training received the 2020 Innovation Award from the World Highways Association, IBTTA.