One of the UK’s leading driving schools has enlisted the help of virtual reality technology to train up new driving instructors.
The British School of Motoring (BSM) Driver Instructor Training course will use the high-tech approach to help speed up the process for would-be instructors. With virtual reality (VR) training, the organisation says it can get a student instructor through the course in three months, which it claims is “up to five times faster than other courses”.
According to BSM, the course will also have “one of the lowest prices in the market”. The total cost of the three-month instructor’s course will come to £999.
The VR technology works using a special camera mounted in the passenger seat of the car, giving an instructor’s-eye view of proceedings, as well as a microphone to gather audio feedback. The car is then driven in the real world, and the footage is used to train new instructors.
As part of the course, the student instructors will be placed in the passenger side of a virtual reality car for a series of simulations. They will then be trained to assess each situation in the same way as a qualified driving instructor, reducing the time they need to spend gaining experience on the road.
In total, candidates will spend three days in the virtual reality-aided classroom with between 8 and 12 trainees and BSM qualified driving instructor trainers. This simulator-style learning will be backed up with classroom discussions and two days applying the learning in real-world conditions in the cabin of a real car.
At the end, there will be a one-day progression and development check, and the candidates will then sit their Approved Driving Instructor qualification. If successful, they will be licensed to start teaching pupils.
Sarah Rees, BSM managing director, said the organisation was hoping the new technology would be a “game-changer” for the instructor training industry, saving would-be instructors time and money.
“We are really excited that our new training course will bring driving instructor training into the 21st century, which will save future instructors’ valuable time and money,” she said. “We hope it will be a real game-changer in the industry, making instructor training more efficient and affordable, whilst maintaining the high-quality and safe training BSM is known for.”