The SCOTSIM project, funded by the Scottish Road Haulage Modernisation Fund, conducted research into the viability of state-of-the-art driving simulation techniques in training professional truck drivers in advanced skills of fuel efficiency, vehicle sympathy and hazard awareness. The project procured, commissioned, and validated two state-of-the art truck simulators (mobile and fixed location units); adopted SAFED-style principles in the delivery of training and the assessment of trainees; established an advanced automatic assessment system that made best use of the simulator capabilities; provided 700 trainees with a detailed programme of training exercises; measured changes in driving style and performance; and through this process, established a training competence that could form the basis of commercial training in Scotland. Results showed an average improvement in time taken to complete the drives (reduced by 10.6%), in gear change frequency (reduced by 20.8%), and in fuel efficiency (improved by 11.4%). Making some simple assumptions and using the figure of 11.4% fuel usage improvement, an estimated annual per driver cost benefit of £2,260 can be derived. The subjective opinions of the trainees were sought regarding the effectiveness and realism of the simulator training, with overwhelmingly positive results. Initial problems of simulator sickness were tackled to reduce incidence to acceptable levels. Further work was undertaken in consultation with industry representatives, academics, and the Driving Standards Agency to develop four additional training modules to meet the particular needs of the Scottish haulage industry. The modules focus on: hazard perception, driver attitude, slow speed manoeuvres and emergency manoeuvres. All modules have been completed and are available on both simulators. All of the project research objectives were met.

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