Simulation-based driver and vehicle crew training: applications, efficacy and future directions

Natassia Kate Goode, Paul Matthew Salmon, Michael Graeme Lenne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Simulation is widely used as a training tool in many domains, and more recently the use of vehicle simulation as a tool for driver and vehicle crew training has become popular (. de Winter et al., 2009; Pradhan et al., 2009). This paper presents an overview of how vehicle simulations are currently used to train driving-related procedural and higher-order cognitive skills, and team-based procedural and non-technical teamwork skills for vehicle crews, and evaluates whether there is evidence these training programs are effective. Efficacy was evaluated in terms of whether training achieves learning objectives and whether the attainment of those objectives enhances real world performance on target tasks. It was concluded that while some higher-order cognitive skills training programs have been shown to be effective, in general the adoption of simulation technology has far outstripped the pace of empirical research in this area. The paper concludes with a discussion of the issues that require consideration when developing and evaluating vehicle simulations for training purposes - based not only on what is known from the vehicle domain, but what can be inferred from other domains in which simulation is an established training approach, such as aviation (e.g. Jentsch et al., 2011) and medicine (e.g. McGaghie et al., 2010). Statement of relevance: Simulation has become a popular tool for driver and vehicle crew training in civilian and military settings. This review considers whether there is evidence that this training method leads to learning and the transfer of skills to real world performance. Evidence from other domains, such as aviation and medicine, is drawn upon to inform the design and evaluation of future vehicle simulation training systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435 - 444
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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