“Virtual Reality Testing Will Make Driving Safer For All”

Posted by in Corporate Social Responsibility on 13th May 2022

On the 27th and 28th of April, Mitchells HQ was delighted to welcome members of the Driving Research Unit from Nottingham Trent University, who had joined us for what became a very exciting but valuable two days of VR testing.

Bit of Background

The Driving Research Unit of the Psychology Department at NTU, is currently looking into the driving behaviours of van and HGV drivers including hazard prediction and risk taking. They launched their Virtual Reality experiment in April which involves participants wearing a VR headset that will simulate a driving environment and require them to make decisions. Mitchells have been involved right from the first day of filming. You can read more about the project and our involvement in our previous blog.

On the Day

Several of the Mitchells driving team were delighted to take on the challenge and don a VR headset for the session. In total, we had 18 employees involved over both days, which was just fantastic. All of whom found the process comfortable, intuitive and easy to follow.

At Mitchells, we all believe traffic and transport research like this is critical to the safety of not only ourselves but for other road users and pedestrians. The data captured from our testers will be used in the vital research needed to get this project ‘off the ground’. All our drivers share our vision for smarter, safer and more accessible palletised distribution and our mission to use technology to make lives easier, which is why it was easy to participate in such a project. The work these guys are doing towards HGV driver awareness and safety is not only groundbreaking but absolutely paramount to today’s industry and demographic.

Learning in the nineties was so different to the way new generations learn today, if we as an industry do not continue to set learning in line with current trends and technology then we are guilty of setting our industry up to fail. The sense of realism in the VR was brilliant, to the point I truly believe that you could operate an HGV in a drone environment whilst sitting at your desk.

Richard Montgomery – MD

Thank You

We would like to say thank you again to Kat and her team at Nottingham Trent for choosing to engage and work with Mitchells on your project. And thank you to all our team who got involved in the project. It makes us all very proud of our company and our people.

If anyone would like to get involved in the testing of this project please email either drivingresearch@ntu.ac.uk or Katherine directly at katherine.bailey@ntu.ac.uk

If every participant takes one thing away from this or gives them cause to think about how they may have missed something, then our roads, our vehicles and our people will be a lot safer.