Simulation-based training for novice car drivers and motorcycle riders: critical knowledge gaps and opportunities

Michael G. Lenné, Eve Mitsopoulos-Rubens, Christine Mulvihill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Simulation is a widely accepted form of training in domains such as aviation, and the potential for using simulation-based training for surface transportation modes has long been recognized. Despite this potential, there has been relatively little research conducted to test this potential formally. The central question addressed within this chapter considers the research evidence that simulation is a mechanism or tool through which to impart effectively the intended competencies in the training of novice car drivers and novice motorcycle riders and, critically, that its use does not translate to negative outcomes. In the current chapter, evidence of effectiveness is assessed against three core criteria: learning on the simulation task itself, transfer of training, and retention of competencies. The majority of simulator-based research to date has used vehicle and motorcycle setups and desktop-based applications to support the training of higher-order competencies such as hazard perception and control of attention in novice car drivers and, to a much lesser extent, novice motorcycle riders. The focus on higher-order competencies is quite appropriate given their role in safe driving and riding in the long term. While some progress has been made in demonstrating that certain examples of simulation-based training can be a possible means through which to impart the critical competencies, further research is required to better round out the evidence base and to address the many unresolved issues that remain. At the core of these issues is an appreciation that simulation is just a training tool and that, in the case of novice driver and novice rider learning, at least, simulation should never be used as a substitute for real-world practice, serving instead potentially to support and augment real-world practice as part of a staged learning approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Teen and Novice Drivers
Subtitle of host publicationResearch, Practice, Policy, and Directions
EditorsDonald L. Fisher, Jeff K. Caird, William J. Horrey, Lana M. Trick
Place of PublicationBoca Raton FL USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781466587021
ISBN (Print)9781466587007
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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