PraLe project successfully pilots remote learning tools for truck and bus drivers

The PraLe project has successfully completed the piloting of its innovative distance learning tools. Originally launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the project aimed to develop distance learning materials for truck and bus drivers. The results of the pilot phase show that significant progress has been made in the use of immersive virtual reality technology in practical distance learning scenarios.

The use of virtual reality in remote learning

The main focus of the PraLe project was to create materials to facilitate distance learning for truck and bus drivers, with virtual reality as a key technology. The immersive nature of VR, based on three-dimensional visualisation and vivid hands-on interaction, proved important in providing effective solutions for practical distance learning scenarios.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional training centres were forced to close. Fortunately, advances in VR device technology, such as Oculus Quest 2, now allow for standalone operation and easy installation, making it economically feasible for educational institutions to provide devices for students’ home use if they wish.

Results of the pilot and technical feasibility

The pilot conducted demonstrated the technical feasibility of creating distance learning scenarios using the concept of remote instructor in VR. The feedback received highlighted the importance of technical aspects such as network connectivity, user-friendly tutorial software and teacher skills in guiding students in a virtual environment.

While immersive virtual reality proved to be very effective for certain training content, the piloting process acknowledged limitations such as the need for VR glasses and detailed scenario preparation. Alternative technologies such as interactive 360-media and web/mobile-based solutions were explored in cases where VR may not be the optimal choice.

Challenges and future considerations

Although the project was successful in the pilot phase, challenges remain, mainly related to the adoption of new technologies and the redesign of teaching methods. The introduction of VR technology in the context of practical training in the transport sector raises questions about the teaching arrangements and the integration of VR training for trainers who are enthusiastic about different technologies.

PraLe’s pioneering efforts in distance learning for truck and bus drivers highlight the potential of VR technology to transform education and offer a glimpse into the future of flexible and effective learning solutions for the transport industry.