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New GRT simulator allows drivers to practice skills

Grand River Transit (GRT) bus operators are practicing their driving skills using a new driver simulator.

It’s located at the Strasburg Road facility in Kitchener.

In order to create a realistic virtual environment, the simulator was built using actual bus parts.

The software is programmed using real bus and roadway dimensions, as well as vehicle turning dynamics.

“While on-road training continues to take place, the simulator allows operators to experience realistic hazards such as distracted drivers, adverse road conditions, cyclists and pedestrians and review the outcomes of their actions,” says Peter Zinck, director of transit services.

It records data related to operator speed, space management, visual scanning frequency and response times. This data helps identify areas where drivers can improve.

“It gives me the knowledge to know if our operators are ready to go out on the road just by watching how they’re driving,” says Ed Toncic, GRT on-road supervisor.

The region is calling this simulator an investment in the safety program, and an investment in community safety as a whole.

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Spencer Turcotte and Zayn Jinah , CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:22AM EDT