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The railway market welcomes a new generation of XR driving simulator

When years ago, the Railway Market only believed in simulators physically replicating entire driving cabins, Transurb took a gamble on the creation of smaller, transportable simulators.

As this type of simulator has now been widely adopted by operators all over the world, we are betting, once again, on portability. But this time, we reconcile it with an unmatched level of realism.

The price of a Nano with the immersion of a Full-Cab

Each train, tram, or metro driver needs thorough training to be fully prepared to face all kinds of hazardous situations. It is why driving simulators exist; they provide this essential practical experience in a safe and managed environment.

But so far, operators had to make a crucial choice: to choose between immersion and portability. Either they had an important budget and wished to heavily invest in particularly immersive tools, such as Full-Cab Simulators; or they chose to favour more scalable and affordable simulators, such as Nano Simulators.

But what if that choice was no longer needed?

Seeing the needs of operators evolve and the awareness around the usefulness of simulators increase, Transurb chose to reimagine its Nano Simulator with Mixed Reality and to thereby expand existing training possibilities.

When the virtual and real-world come together

This new type of mixed reality simulator is composed of a panel of physical instrumentation, a touchscreen for the virtualised instrumentation, and a virtual reality headset.

Seated at this simulator and equipped with the appropriate headset, a learner is fully immersed in their driving cab. They can turn around and see passengers in their tram, look left and right to pay attention to pedestrians and be mindful of surrounding dangers.

On top of that, the simulated environment is blended with real elements, which allows the learner to use the physical instrumentation of the simulator. Doing so, real driving conditions are entirely replicated, with a full field of view -particularly useful for the training of tram drivers- and physical interactions with real equipment.

This new level of immersion, which has never been met before, made available on a portable, budget-friendly tool, is a milestone for the world of railway training.

Innovation at its finest

As Transurb strives to stay ahead of its time, its Research & Development team had the idea of developing a new category of simulators using mixed reality technology years ago. But the existing Virtual Reality headsets were not powerful and advanced enough for such a development.

Today’s technology makes it now possible for us to provide such solutions to our partners. We’re really exited to elevate the potential of simulation training to the next level.

Nicolas Sanders, Head of Product and Reasearch & Development at Transurb Simulation

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