Central Queensland University researchers are enhancing train driving simulators with augmented reality in order to fast track drivers’ skills development.
Drivers will be able to engage in real life situations where they will be given various scenarios and be shown ‘what-if’ consequences of their actions.
“Rail simulators have been around for a bit, but we haven’t really been able to accelerate driver training because the way trains and simulators display the operating environment is fundamentally different to the way drivers actually encode this information in their heads,” CQUniversity researcher Anjum Naweed said in a statement.
“Naturally, tools that are congruent with the way a train drivers see the world provides the opportunity to train much faster.”
Naweed said the number of train drivers in Australia “essentially needs to double” to meet demand, and hopes the use of augmented reality will speed training.
The research team at the university has been given $234,000 from the Australian Research Council Linkage Project scheme to further develop driver training technologies and techniques.
The research team will make use of a full-cab rail safety research simulator that can collect human performance data for freight and passenger operations using real-world track scenarios. The simulator is housed at the university’s Appleton Institute in Adelaide, a multidisciplinary research hub.
The university is also producing animation-based tutorials for law students to encounter and respond to real client situations via avatars. This follows on from making its Bachelor of Law degree optimised for study on mobile devices.
Some examples of situations a lawyer might encounter with a client can be found in iBooks on iTunes U and on YouTube.