Quality training for quality driversThe Trapeze Team | May 27, 2015
Great bus drivers are integral to the success of any bus company; they improve safety, maximise fuel efficiency and deliver better customer service.
Indeed, they play a crucial role in retaining passengers and improving public perceptions of buses, which itself is key to increasing ridership. The flip side, of course, is that poor drivers pose safety risks, drive inefficiently, and can discourage people from using buses.
The importance of impeccable driver behaviour is increasingly well understood by the bus industry, with operators placing increasing focus on training programmes and initiatives in order to ensure their drivers are the best they can be.
A good example can be seen at National Express West Midlands (NXWM), where the intense driver training process doesn’t suddenly end with a final exam: newly qualified drivers are assessed again after their first 45 days on the road, and yearly thereafter.
What is particularly interesting about NXWM’s training programme is the role technology plays: The company uses Trapeze’s INOVAS system to ‘drive’ virtual routes, complete with warnings of areas where other drivers have encountered issues.
Technological evolution and revolution
Technology is already having a profound impact on the public transport industry – and driver training systems are undergoing a particularly interesting transformation at present.
The INOVAS system NXWM use has recently been superseded by Trapeze’s NOVUS Driver Training system, which combines the benefits of telematics-driven performance data with third-party feeds such as real-time, schedule information, road incidents, CCTV and more.
These elements are used to create a genuine ‘next generation’ driver training system, through which drivers train by ‘driving’ virtual routes complete with integrated video and street views.
The result is a true virtual training environment – and of course, because there is no practical limit to the amount of data you can use, it’s a system with limitless potential for improving driver performance.
But perhaps best of all, technology has transformed the way that driver training can be delivered. By making use of the browser-based NOVUS platform, NOVUS DT allows drivers to drive virtual routes from the convenience of their own home (or wherever else they wish).
The result is a training system that gives drivers the knowledge they need to be confident, comfortable and effective in their job, while offering them complete control over where and when they access it.
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