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Hendon Publishing

AST Driver Simulator Training

Applied Simulation Technologies (AST) driver simulator training, integrated into traditional EVOC training, results in a measurable 25% to 74% reduction in accident liabilities. AST has two different products related to law enforcement driver training. A clear distinction exists between these two products, even though they have similar names and both apply to the same general topic of EVO driver training. The two different products apply to two different phases of the EVO training process.

The first is called EVOC-101 WEB, which applies to the first phase of EVO training. This training process involves information that must be understood in preparation for learning any new skill. This provides enabling information of what needs to be done and why it needs to be done. This knowledge is prerequisite to being able to do what needs to be done.

EVOC-101 WEB provides information on EVO operations through a Web-based process. This is more effective and convenient than traditional computer-based training (CBT) or lecture- and book-based training. By design, EVOC-101 WEB actually gives the learner some initial practice in recognizing issues and hazards and in making decisions based on varying roadway conditions presented during the course.

EVOC-101 WEB measures, tests and scores each trainee individually in 1) understanding issues, 2) recognizing hazards and 3) making correct decisions. This provides a good foundation for the EVO operation in general and has proven to be effective preparation for the Phase 2 training.

The second phase is called EVOC-101, which involves practice of the physical, hands-on skills required to control a vehicle in EVO conditions. Traditionally, if driving practice has been included in an EVO training curriculum at all, it has been limited to the use of test-tracks to emulate EVO driving. The problem is that no truly hazardous conditions can be emulated fairly on a test track.

More recently, affordable simulator environments have proven to provide a much better venue for exercising the processes of 1) recognizing real hazards, 2) multi-tasking, 3) making timely decisions, and 4) applying avoidance techniques in response to both real and potential hazards.

Driving simulators are best used to present practice exercises to the trainee involving hazards that are common to real traffic conditions. EVOC-101 combines a driver performance scoring program that connects to a driver training simulator with a curriculum of scenario exercises that requires trainees to practice vehicle control skills in maintaining an optimum balance between speed in emergency response and due regard for public safety.

EVOC-101 requires the trainee to practice hazard recognition, multi-tasking, decision making, and collision avoidance techniques in a graduated sequence of increasingly difficult traffic conditions. It measures and scores the trainees, and provides immediate feedback on the trainee’s performance after each exercise. This gives each trainee both the opportunity and the motive to improve personal performance throughout the course of increasingly difficult exercises.
In addition, the EVOC-101 program collects and records objective measurements of trainee performance data. The training agency may use recorded data to make objective evaluations of the effectiveness of the training. That objective data may be used to evaluate and improve both the effectiveness of the training process as a whole and the specific application to the needs of individual trainees, i.e., identifying and measuring attitude and aptitude issues objectively.

AST has a number of the technical papers available to police trainers. These conference proceedings papers review objective data collected by EVOC-101 while measuring real trainee performance during the training. One summarizes the driver performance scoring data collected by the Utah Department of Public Safety (UDPS) in its first year of using EVOC-101 to train law enforcement personnel.

This same paper discusses five major issues that UDPS addressed in the development of the EVOC-101 training program. It also describes how the objective measurement of the drivers’ performance helped to resolve all five issues. Finally, this paper discusses issues relating to the minimizing simulator adaptation syndromes (SAS) or “simulator sickness.”

Another peer-reviewed paper establishes that improvements in driver performance from simulator training are produced independent of the trainer. Three different trainers, having three different levels of experience, trained hundreds of trainees and produced equivalent improvements in trainee performance. The common denominator between the trainers was the EVOC-101 paradigm and curriculum.

Yet another paper documents a cycle of optimizing design specifications for driving simulators, based on training requirements. This analysis applies two years of data collected by EVOC-101 in order to identify and combine all the simultaneous issues that link Instructional Systems Design (ISD) with Simulator Systems Design (SSD). This paper demonstrates that effective training may be achieved in a simple training process, but the effectiveness of that simple process is derived through a relatively complex combination of principles derived from both ISD and SSD disciplines.

Presently, the EVOC-101 training program is limited to application on MPRI simulators, but a significant number of agencies around the country that have MPRI simulators are using it. The UDPS has the most experience with it. Both FLETC and the RCMP have chosen to use EVOC-101 as part of their simulator-based driver training curriculum. RCMP is also beginning to apply EVOC-101 WEB Web-based training in preparation for EVOC-101 simulator-based training in a manner similar to UDPS.

Published in Law and Order, Apr 2009

Rating : 10.0

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