5DT (Fifth Dimension Technologies), a training simulator and virtual reality pioneer, unveiled their state-of-the-art advanced trucking simulator at a launch event at its head office in the Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, South Africa.

The South African launch comes on the back of an international release at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky and a road show in the United States of America, which was met with great enthusiasm in the trucking and logistics communities.

“We optimized every element of the simulator to offer fleet operators and trainee drivers a highly realistic and unparalleled training experience. This included ultra-high definition (UHD) screens, active force-feedback steering, a 6-axis motion base, customer-specific virtual terrains and routes and manufacturer-specific realistic cabs. We want to set the new standard for trucking simulators,” said Paul Olckers, CEO of 5DT.

The simulator provides real benefits for driver recruitment, initial training, advanced training and continuous improvement.
In terms of recruitment, it allows a fleet operator to select the best candidates. Recruits that already have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), can be assessed based on the benchmarks of the fleet operator. The potential of unlicensed recruits can be determined.

During initial training, candidates can be trained faster, all learning outcomes can be covered, a higher training success rate can be achieved, and everyone can be brought to a higher level with standardised training.

During advanced training, drivers can be made safer and more economical. They can be prepared for emergency scenarios like brake failures, tyre blowouts and jackknifing in a controlled classroom environment, 24/7/365. Wear and tear, abusive gear shifting, brake abuse and tyre use can be reduced and defensive driving can be promoted. Trainees can be taught how to drive more economically by optimising the torque delivery of their truck.

The simulator is ideal for continuous improvement, where risk factors can be continuously identified and addressed. Fleet telematics information can be used to determine the targeted training required to improve specific skills. The simulator provides accurate reporting of driver progress over time. Skills gaps can be identified and closed, based on benchmarks.

According to Martin Schehle, Business Improvement Manager of 5DT, “Interfacing the 5DT advanced trucking simulator with your fleet’s telematics system brings in a new era of targeted training by allowing real individual driver performance data to guide your training requirements.”

Advanced Trucking Simulator

Classroom screen [left], simulator base system (SimBASE) with simulated cab (SimCAB) [middle], visual display system [top-middle] and instructor station [right]. The SimCAB is positioned on top of the motion base.

The simulator consists of a simulator base system (SimBASE) and a simulated cab (SimCAB). The SimBASE is a 6-sided (hexagonal) structure that includes a 3-screen visual display system, a motion base and a rear door to swap SimCABs.

The trainee sits in the SimCAB and views the virtual environment on the ultra-high definition (UHD or 4K) visual display system. The wide field of view provides peripheral vision similar to that experienced in a real truck. Rendered side-view and kerb-view mirrors complete the visual experience. A surround-sound audio system (5.1 standard) provides aural cues to the trainee.

The classroom screen enables observers (also sometimes referred to as back-seat drivers) to learn from the trainee in the hot seat.

The simulated cab (SimCAB) is an accurate representation of the cab of the real vehicle, as it is built with real manufacturers’ parts.

The SimCAB is mounted on top of a 6-axis electrical motion base. The motion base provides realistic motion cues of a real moving vehicle.

SimCABs can be swapped out in less than 3 minutes without the use of any tools or a crane. One SimCAB is rolled out (on a transport dolly) of the SimBASE via the rear door and another (different) SimCAB is rolled in.

The SimCAB features active force-feedback steering. This enables the trainee to experience realistic steering effects like tyre blowouts and uneven road surfaces. The SimCAB also offers different transmission options like manual, semi-automatic and automatic gearboxes.

The trainer controls the simulation from the training station. The trainer controls training scenarios and initiates weather effects (rain, snow, ice, fog), time of day (day, dusk, night, dawn), critical scenarios (tyre blowouts, jackknifing) and vehicle failures. The simulator records up to 70 unique operator errors. At the end of a training session a report is generated.

The 5DT Advanced Trucking Simulator provides real benefits in terms of safety, productivity and vehicle maintenance. This is central to 5DT’s vision: “We make drivers Safer, more Productive and less Destructive! TM”.

5DT already received South African orders for five (5) of its Advanced Trucking Simulators.

A fully operational simulator is available for product demonstrations at the 5DT head office in the Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, South Africa.

About 5DT

5DT (Fifth Dimension Technologies) is a global market leader in training simulators and virtual reality systems for the trucking, mining, construction, aerospace and defence industries. Established in 1993, 5DT has developed training simulators for more than 100 different vehicle, machine and aircraft models from more than 25 different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). 5DT has deployed more than 200 simulator systems worldwide. 5DT has 5 international offices in the United States, Australia, Chile, India and South Africa.