Traffic management – VR training for police employees
What is the VR course in traffic management?
“MORATEX” Institute of Security Technologies
The “MORATEX” Institute of Security Technology in Łódź was established in 1953. Its current activity and mission are focused on the assumptions of the Horizon 2020 Program of the European Union (including, in particular, in the area of security), which determines the transformation of the European Union into a safe place with the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, capable of creating more and better jobs and guaranteeing greater social cohesion. That is why the institute actively carries out research tasks for uniformed services to offer them new material, technological, and product solutions.
A more understandable and effective training tool for beginner police officers
- Offering the client a VR application that will reliably simulate the actual working conditions of the uniformed services of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration while managing traffic. Its priority goal was to imitate the realistic reactions of car drivers to signals given by police officers at intersections.
- The project’s primary purpose was to consider the different variants of traffic management at intersections of varying construction found in other locations with several variants of vehicles, e.g., a T-intersection situated within a public road. Such a comprehensive approach offers greater certainty in adequately preparing police officers to work in various road conditions.
- The simulation, through the created VR world, guaranteed users the mapping of events and reactions that occur when controlling traffic at the intersection. It was crucial to consider the impact of people and vehicles that fail to follow the officer’s commands. In addition, it was decided to program a dynamic background in the form of people and cars not actively participating in the traffic at the intersection (acting as a distraction for the trainee).
The training required a 3D design of the models that offer the trained police officers a faithful representation of their working conditions.
We set ourselves the goal of familiarizing police officers with many scenarios containing different types of intersections. In addition, each scenario consisted of several possible variants of road conditions that the trainer could select.
The creation of a coherent VR application – police officers are familiarized with a wide range of training scenarios
- Learning to manage traffic using virtual reality consisted of two stages – the first is the officer’s training in the hall of mirrors, where an avatar-instructor shows the movements to the trainee. In addition, the trainer sees his reflection in the mirror in front of him, thanks to which he can carefully observe whether his gestures are performed correctly. The second stage, on the other hand, trains traffic management at a virtual intersection.
- The training includes a set of lessons using three different intersections, where policemen have to make the right moves to clear the intersection of cars. The tasks take into account changing conditions – various times of the day and weather conditions, road users’ different behaviors (e.g., not following instructions or emergency vehicles), and distracting elements, i.e., those that affect the user’s concentration, such as screams, explosions, lightning, fire, etc.
- In addition to the lessons, the application also includes a task summary mode, which includes parameters such as the quality of gesture mapping, the correct location of the officer at the intersection, reaction time to stimuli, perceptiveness, and the officer’s skills in managing traffic.
At the end of the training, the user completes a perceptiveness survey
The survey may include questions about the weather conditions on the road and information that appeared during the training sessions. Then, the trainee sees a summary of his actions (the number of mistakes, correct moves, and the time of completing the scenario).
Manus Prime X Gloves
A high-quality VR solution for tracking the user’s hand.
They accurately record the subtlety of human hand and finger movements. Users experience realistic virtual interactions through their hands in VR and synchronize their movements with the character located in the application.
Varjo XR-3 headsets
Extremely photorealistic virtual reality made by Varjo 3rd generation goggles.
These headsets are characterized by their high resolution and wide range of colors. In addition, integrated hand and eye tracking is possible without base stations. All this adds to virtual reality’s fast, accurate, and detailed actions.
- Success #1 | Real and practical training for novice policemen
Learning perceptiveness, appropriate gestures, and reaction to stimuli in complex and unexpected conditions at intersections is finally possible thanks to virtual reality. So far, police officers have not always had a chance to practice their newly acquired knowledge in a place that requires its use.
- Success #2 | The results of the training are comprehensively reported each time
In addition to the practical training of police officers, the application summarizes their progress and results. After the training, the software generates lists of the most frequently repeated errors (e.g., failure to stop traffic when an emergency vehicle enters the intersection) and a ranking of the best results. This gives more significant opportunities to track the process of officers preparing to exercise their profession.
- Success #3 | Attention to realism and multithreading
To properly recreate the various situations that occur at intersections with advanced road traffic, we carefully designed each scenario. We also did not forget about unpredictable weather conditions, phenomena disturbing the concentration of the officer, and random events in the form of bold traffic participants. Therefore, the training participants will be prepared for many situations in which they will be able to react appropriately and efficiently.