The National Academies

TCRP A-22 [Completed]

Evaluation of Simulators as an Effective Training Tool toImprove Bus Safety and Guidelines for Their Application

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Research Agency: Milestone Group, L.L.C.
Principal Investigator: John Brock
Effective Date: 8/18/1999
Completion Date: 7/17/2001

Improving safety by reducing bus collisions is a high priority for transit systems. Although some transit systems are using simulators to aid in operator training, retraining, and skills-evaluation programs, no thorough study has been made of their effectiveness.

In general, simulators re-create actual situations encountered by operators on the street. The operator sits in a mockup of the bus operator's cockpit; the roadway ahead and images on the operator's mirrors are projected on a screen. A wide range of steering, turning, stopping, and sudden response maneuvers can thus be simulated. Acceleration, braking, steering, and reaction times can be monitored in order to evaluate the operator's performance in each situation, as well as to identify skills for which the operator may require additional on-street training. Simulator technology is a developing field in the bus transit industry, and there may be additional applications and features that have not yet been demonstrated; however, transit system managers frequently lack the information needed to evaluate the cost and benefits of using bus simulator technology to enhance bus operations and safety.

This research evaluated the effectiveness of bus simulators in reducing transit bus collisions and improving safety in the transit industry. Guidelines for the use of bus simulator technologies and features have been developed..

Status: The revised final report was received in July 2001. The report has been published as TCRP Report 72: Simulators and Bus Safety: Guidelines for Acquiring and Using Transit Bus Operator Driving Simulators.

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