The NZ Transport Agency, together with ACC, have created a virtual reality app, Drive VR to help young New Zealanders gain the necessary experience and confidence at critical driving tasks such as observational skills.
The NZTA believes that the app gives learner drivers a taste of using their observation skills as they are required to do in practical driving tests, but in virtual reality. It can be used anywhere with their personal device – including at home or in the classroom.
They will be challenged to spot hazards, check blind spots and mirrors, and look out of windows—all from a virtual driver’s seat. Observation skills are tracked, so learners can keep improving on their high score.
Drive VR is made by Government agencies ACC and the NZ Transport Agency. It is part of the Drive programme that helps young people learn what they need to for every step of the licence process – from the learner licence theory test all the way through to getting their full licence.
“From speaking to hundreds of young Kiwis, we know that many of them feel daunted by driving practical tests and freeze up when it comes to doing them in real life,” says ACC Road Injury Prevention Manager, Dr. Simon Gianotti.
“We also know drivers who are more aware of others on the road and who are better at spotting hazards are safer drivers,” he says.
“We wanted to help them feel more comfortable behind the wheel by giving them the opportunity to practise their observation skills from the comfort of their own home. Nothing replaces real life practice but this new VR experience is an incredible tool in helping prepare safe, skilled young drivers.”
People can download the free app onto their mobile device. It’s best used with Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets for a more immersive experience– thousands of these are being given away on the Drive website.
For a chance to win Drive VR goggles or to find out more information Click Here.