TxDOT Snowplow Operators Get Virtual Feel For Plowing Snow

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The Amarillo District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) had their snowplow operators training for the coming winter season on a virtual snowplow simulator.

The simulator offers plow operators a chance to experience what they may encounter while plowing snow before the winter weather hits. 

The purpose of the simulator is to give drivers the experience of:

  • Limited visibility in front of the truck due to the attached snowplow
  • Possible driver visibility issues due to winter weather (snow, drift, icy windshield, etc.)
  • Traction issues on curves and hills
  • Correctly executing traffic control under field conditions (signal, stop sign, etc.)

The simulator also:

  • Helps refine a need for optimal perception and reaction time in extreme weather driving conditions
  • Helps drive with multiple assignments including operating sand spreading unit while plowing
  • Provides audio/video cues in a virtual environment that allow the operator to believe they are in a wintertime environment.

The training sessions are part of TxDOT’s goal of safety for all drivers, as well as motorists that are near the plows while they are in operation.

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