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Simulator Usage in Driver Training will Promote Eco-driving, Critical Driving, and Defensive Driving Growth in the Commercial Vehicle (CV) Industry
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Skilled driver shortage and reduction in fleet liabilities is major driver for the driver simulator market. The challenges include high initial investment, replication of complex road environment, and driving pattern in virtual driving condition. European Directive 2003/59/ EC of European parliament deals with initial qualification and periodic training of drivers. It allows drivers maximum of 8 hours of 20 hours of individual driving on top-of-the-range simulator. Majority of European countries allow usage of simulators for driver training. The Netherlands, France, Poland, and Denmark offer strong potential for deployment of simulators in Initial qualification module with favorable regulations and large qualifying driver population. France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway with large number of active truck licenses in circulation and favorable regulation offer strong potential for deployment of simulator in periodic training. However, only few European countries have developed their own directives for usage of simulators and training syllabus for simulator-based training. Driver training institutes can act as mass market for simulators; however, lack of clear guidelines, lack of standardization of simulators across Europe, training syllabus, and high investment are deterring usage of simulators in driver training. Harmonization of simulator definition, standardized regulations, and government policy support can provide much needed impetus to the market promoting development of scalable, modular, low-cost simulator. In future OEMs, research institutes and fleets will drive the demand for driver simulators. Simulators are widely used in OEMs in evaluation of electronic safety systems, vision enhancement system and accident reconstruction. In research institutes, simulators are used as trial of innovative research projects where there is a huge cost differential between successful realizations. Additionally, it is used in improvement of computer-assisted development systems and test new components with integration under a range of operating conditions in research environment. The simulator program can be used to standardize driver experience and to study multiple drivers on testing novel road layouts, study driver distraction in vehicles with driverless technology. In fleets, simulators are used to provide driver training in the areas of eco-driving, defensive driving, and critical driving conditions. Effective driver training can help fleets improve operational efficiency through reduced fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, and lower vehicle maintenance costs. Additionally, drivers are trained to handle unpredictable events like collision prevention and autonomous or distracted driving.
The aim of this study is to research and analyze the implications of driver simulator for the commercial vehicle industry. This study identifies various key functional areas where driver simulator can be deployed. Additionally, growth potential for simulators in different countries of Europe is provided.
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