AplusB Software has released a personal driving simulator – the SimuRide Home Edition (HE) – for beginner drivers who are studying for their driver's license test. The student uses any PC steering wheel, pedal, and gearshift set to move around a 3D map from inside a virtual car. Designed in Ottawa, the new personal technology aims to give new drivers everywhere a comfortable, safe introduction to operating a vehicle.
“We are pleased to announce the launch of the Home Edition. It's important for parents to know that there is an alternative out there when the cost of formal driver training is too expensive or unavailable. Now students can practice their driving skills at any time of the day, at any age, with or without parental supervision or a learner's permit,” states Piotr Anweiler, CEO.
Despite improvements to driver education like the graduated driver's license (GDL) program, traffic accidents persist as the leading cause of death for teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age. These fatalities are largely due to poor attitudes about speed and seat belts and inexperience with handling dangerous situations. Parents with good intentions to supervise their teenager while driving may limit vehicle use because of time constraints or when they are deterred by excessive fuel costs or fear of damage or wear to the vehicle.
A Connecticut report conducted in 2004 found a discrepancy between parental and teenage views on driver practice. Parents believed their teenager was ready and capable of handling a vehicle, and most thought that less than 10 hours of practice was sufficient while teenagers indicated that 20 or more hours of practice was necessary.
The SimuRide HE is not a substitution for practicing in a vehicle; it is to be used before and during practice in a real vehicle and was designed especially for new drivers who are nervous about operating a vehicle or who do not have enough access to a vehicle or driving school. There is a high level of stress associated with being responsible for the vehicle, yourself and your passenger, and other road users. SimuRide HE users are able to practice complex maneuvers including parallel parking, passing other vehicles, and merging onto a highway without these stresses.
The program, with an option for error alerts, conditions the drivers to remember to use their rear-view mirrors, headlights, and turning signals at the appropriate times. With these basic habits internalized, new drivers will spend less time wondering where their hands and feet are supposed to be in a real vehicle, and will pay more attention to the road.
AplusB Software (aplusbsoftware.com) is an e-learning company that specializes in driver's education and offers interactive test preparation materials on CD-ROMs for new and commercial drivers in all jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S.