One of the many benefits to using immersive technology such as virtual reality (VR) is that it allows the wear to be transport to locations which otherwise might be hard to visit in the real-world. This also goes for the events that unfold during their visit which is why the technology is a great fit for training and education. Now, Motion Rail Ltd, based in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, have designed two VR training programmes which will be used to improve training and educating children on the importance of railway safety.
As reported by the BBC, in 2016-2017, 39 people lost their lives on railways in the UK – 33 members of the public and 6 workers. Most of the time the injuries that people end up with are a result of trespassing onto the tracks or occur at incidents at level crossings. During the same time frame it is reported that there were also 5,676 injuries to rail workers with 164 being classes as major. These numbers highlight the importance of proving better training and education on railway safety which is what the work by Motion Rail is aiming to do.
One of the VR programmes is aimed at children with the other being designed for workers. Some of the first children to use the experience where pupils at Ysgol Y Fenni in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. When a user puts on the VR headset they are presented with a level crossing which they need to get across safely. This is done by following a sequence of tasks which if not followed correctly mean the wear failed.
“If the children cross the white line where they’re told to stop, the train will pass – it does hit them if they cross the line, but it doesn’t present any gore, it’s sort of CCTV of what happens to them.” said Emma Gilchrist, Managing Director of Motion Rail.
She further added that most children have laughed during the experience and not found it frightening which they hope, by having it seen as fun, will ensure the children remember what they need to do when dealing with a real level crossing.
The second programmer aimed at rail works is designed to help raise their awareness of the appropriate amount of time needed to move out of the way of an on coming train when working on the tracks. The VR experience presents the wear with a real-time scenario in a safe environment. The danger is still all to real though and the wears must pay as must attention in the virtual world as they would in the real world.
Andy Thomas, managing director of England and Wales at Network Rail, said: “By engaging with young people early, we can raise awareness of rail safety and help keep the communities we serve safe.”
VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on Motion Rail in the future, so make sure to stay tuned for more.