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.