LOUISVILLE. 5DT (Fifth Dimension Technologies) unveiled an advanced trucking simulator here at the Mid-America Trucking Show that the company says will "set a new standard" for products of its kind.
"We optimized every element of the simulator to offer fleet operators and trainee drivers a highly realistic and unparalleled training experience," said Paul Olckers, CEO of 5DT. "This included ultra-high definition [UHD] screens, active force-feedback steering, a six-axis motion base, customer-specific virtual terrains and routes and manufacturer-specific realistic cabs. We want to set the new standard for trucking simulators."
This simulator is designed to allow a fleet operator to select the best candidates for recruitment, according to the company. Recruits who have a commercial driver's license can be assessed based on benchmarks the fleet operator sets, while unlicensed recruits' potential can be determined.
5DT says driver candidates can be trained faster using the simulator, learning outcomes can be covered, higher training success rates can be achieved and all drivers "can be brought to a higher level" with standardized training.
The system delivers advanced training to prepare drivers for emergency scenarios like brake failures, tire blowouts and jackknifing in a controlled classroom environment, according to 5DT. In addition, fleets can use the simulator to promote defensive driving while reducing wear and tear, abusive gear shifting, brake abuse and tire wear; trainees can be taught how to drive more economically by optimizing the torque of the truck.
"Interfacing the 5DT advanced trucking simulator with your fleet's telematics system brings in a new era of targeted training by allowing real individual driver performance data to guide your training requirements," stated Martin Schehle, business improvement manager at 5DT. Fleet telematics information can be used to target training necessary to improve specific skills, and the simulator reports on driver progress over time. Fleets can use benchmarks to identify and address skills gaps among their drivers.
The simulator consists of a simulator base system (SimBASE) and simulated cab (SimCAB). The SimBASE is a six-sided structure that includes a three-screen visual display system, a motion base and a rear door that allows interchanging SimCABs.
A trainee sits in the SimCAB and views the virtual environment on the ultra-high definition — also called UHD or 4K — display. The extended field of view delivers peripheral visuals similar to the view in a real truck, the company noted, while rendered side-view and curb-view mirrors complete the visual experience. A 5.1 standard surround-sound audio system provides aural cues to the trainee.
The trainer controls the simulation from the training station including different driving environments; weather effects such as rain, snow, ice or fog; time of day; critical events like tire blowouts; and vehicle failures. The simulator records up to 70 unique operator errors and generates a report at the end of the training session.