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17 CHAPTER 3 STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS SIMULATORS training center. Alternatively, simulators could be installed in trailers and taken to each agency in the consortium on a set As discussed by Vance et al. (2002), one of the greatest schedule. advantages of simulator training is the ability to recreate Pierowicz et al. (2002) evaluated the adequacy of six sim- dangerous situations without putting drivers and equipment ulators for use in a three-part study to determine whether at risk. Simulation can expose drivers to high-risk situations simulator-based training can enhance training effective- such as blowouts, brake failures, and hazardous road and ness and improve the performance of tractor-trailer drivers, weather conditions, allowing sufficient practice with infre- compared with conventional training methods. The bulk of quently encountered events so that an automatic behavioral the Pierowicz et al. (2002) report describes the functional- response can be learned. Vance et al. (2002) state that begin- ity of the six simulators and their adequacy for use in three ning drivers benefit most from part-task training, where each upcoming validation studies. The simulators were evaluated situation is separated into components that can be taught on 183 factors to determine their adequacy in supporting the incrementally, starting with basic skills such as baking up, research design of the three study phases. No procurement steering, maneuvering through traffic, or parking. They indi- for the three study phases had been released at the time of cate that experts who need refresher training benefit more from this report, however. The results of this study, when com- a full-task simulator, where greater interactivity (i.e., system pleted, will provide valuable data to fill the gaps in the knowl- response to a driver's control inputs) is afforded, permitting edge regarding the effectiveness of simulation in training better transfer of existing skills into new environments, such truck drivers. as poor road and weather conditions, or when learning how Regarding the use of simulators for training motorcoach to deal with equipment failures. The development of train- drivers, Brock et al. (2001) conducted a literature review, sur- ing scenarios and the platforms used to deliver training are veys, and site visits. They concluded that transit bus operator considerably more expensive for full-task than for part-task training can be improved with selective use of transit bus sim- simulation. ulators. They also noted that a critical feature in the success of Data regarding the effectiveness of simulator training for simulator training programs is the competence and enthusiasm truck drivers is sparse. In their review of practices in the Euro- of the instructional staff. pean Union and North America, Horn and Tardif (1999) state The Brock et al. (2001) report discussed three current appli- that truck driver training has generally remained low tech, cations of simulator technology: (1) An open-loop video with the majority of training done using traditional methods simulator--Doron L-300; (2) a low-end simulator--Doron of teaching. Although training simulators are appearing in L-301 VMT-Vehicle Maneuvering Trainer; and (3) a midrange some schools, they will remain the exception for years to simulator--FAAC MB 2000. All three simulators are used come because the trucking industry and the private training to train new drivers; they are also often used to retrain more schools do not have the money to pay for these tools. How- experienced drivers. However, each device trains a subset of ever, Horn and Tardif embrace the continuation of research the skills required by drivers of transit buses, but none trains and development on simulation technologies to identify areas them all. The open-loop system is the least expensive of the where transfer of training and acquisition of additional expe- three systems and is the most frequently used. It uses a video rience can be gained through the use of these technologies at display of traffic, and several students may be trained simulta- a cost that the trucking industry can afford. A potential solu- neously at different stations, each with steering wheels, brake tion is offered by Brock et al. (2001). Based on their findings and accelerator pedals, and other rudimentary controls. It is not that simulator training in the motorcoach industry has safety interactive, i.e., student inputs do not affect the playback of the and efficiency payoffs, these authors have proposed regional training videos. The utility of this tool lies in its ability to train training centers as a means of offering simulator training to and test reaction time and visual recognition. The fundamen- numerous small- and midsized transit agencies that would tals of stopping distances, driving under different road con- otherwise not be able to afford them. Using this approach, a ditions, and the relationship of speed and reaction time can be consortium of agencies would manage and fund the regional demonstrated and practiced.