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Highways England trains control room operators virtually

02 November 2020

One of the great strengths of virtual reality (VR) is its ability to allow users to experience real-world training scenarios, without endangering themselves, colleagues or the general public.

That is why Highways England (HE) turned to VR specialists, MXTreality, when a new training programme was required to help control room operators better understand the impact of their actions on the customer satisfaction of motorists who are using the strategic road network.

This was the first such training programme delivered by HE and it quickly demonstrated the advantage of not just explaining how Variable Signs & Signals (VSS) work, but also allowing operators to experience the effect on traffic flow and how decisions impact driver satisfaction. 

MXTreality Managing Director, Toby Pettinger, explains, “Training programmes of this nature are typically delivered in the classroom, often taking people away from their day job, with a lot of paper-based collaterals, training videos and whiteboard sessions. Despite the best efforts of trainers, engagement can be a challenge, especially with drier subjects. 

“But HE is an innovative organisation and recognises the benefits afforded by VR. Instead of taking more than 400 mission-critical operators out of their control rooms for a day, sending them to a training centre and paying for accommodation, we were able to bring the training scenarios to them, with the timings of each session planned around the operational priorities on the day.

Read the full article in the November issue of DPA

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