First-ever driving simulator centre in city to train heavy vehicle drivers

With the number of road accidents involving commercial vehicles growing dismally high, it is good to know that the city’s first-ever ‘Heavy Vehicle Driving Simulator’ and training centre will be operational by the end of the month. The system works on the same lines as the flight simulator used for training pilots and will help users to experience driving in all weather conditions and on all possible terrain. The Industrial Training Institute of the All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society (AISSMS) has developed a special training module with the help of the simulator for drivers of heavy vehicles, including buses and trucks.

Hands on the wheel: The Heavy Vehicle Driving Simulator, developed by The Industrial Training Institute of the All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society, will help the aspiring truck drivers to experience driving in all weather conditions and on all possible terrain

“The number of accidents has been increasing, especially on the Express Highway. Our institute has been providing ITI courses, but we wanted to start a specialised course for drivers. The quality of training imparted at driving schools is insufficient and does not serve well in actual situations. There is need for proper training for heavy vehicle drivers,” said RR Kanade, principal of the Industrial Training Institute.

He added that the formal inauguration of the centre will happen in the last week of February and the actual course will commence from March. The course duration is 45 days. At the initial stage, each batch will seat 10 drivers. Interested applicants with SSC pass and a valid Light Motor Vehicle driving licence can apply. On completing the course successfully, drivers will get a license for heavy vehicles from the RTO, and a certificate from AISSMS.

“Currently, companies across various sectors have a huge requirement for skilled drivers. So there will be regular campus interviews to recruit drivers,” Kanade said. For the training purpose, Fleet Guard, a private company has developed a specialised simulator at the cost of Rs 10 lakh, loaded with various programmes. Sadashiv Pandit, executive chairman of Fleet Guard said, “We have developed a simulator, which creates all the conditions of a heavy vehicle. It has three IED screens, steering, accelerator, clutch and interiors. 

There are various programmes like driving in ghat section, rain condition and fog. After setting specific a programme, the simulator creates the exact conditions. After a month of artificial training through the simulator, trainees will get the actual feel in a real truck. The course will help to minimise the level of accidents.” For actual hands-on training, TATA Motors will be providing a specialised training vehicle.  

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