The Lincolnshire Police department has recently done an investigation into how virtual racing simulators, like Gran Turismo, could improve its officers driving - if at all. It teamed up with the 'Nissan PlayStation GT Academy', sending four of its 'Specialist Operations Officers' to Silverstone race-way in the UK in a bid to test the possibility of augmenting traditional training with a virtual one.
The officers were required to do a lap around the world-famous track to record their initial lap time, and to gather analytics to see where the driver could improve. After this, they were sent to the GT Academy - a virtual-to-reality training ground - where the same track was playable on GT Sport, the upcoming racing simulator from Polyphony Digital. This was made even more immersive thanks to the integration of virtual-reality into the game by the developer, using the PlayStation VR headset from Sony.
When the officers finished training in the game, which showed them where improvements could be made - including markers for late braking, going too fast into corners, and over/understeer - they were sent back to the real life track to test whether or not the training assisted them in improving on their initial driving flaws or lap time.
According to the department, some of the officers showed improved driving skill on the particular track, however, it did note that the virtual experience would not be able to replace traditional training yet:
“There will never be a replacement for traditional training methods but we are always looking for innovative ways to supplement the learning of our officers and staff. If Gran Turismo can help to train world class racing drivers, then we were keen to explore whether it could offer anything to our officers and help expand the way we think about evolving and refreshing our training methods.
It’s important to emphasize that exploring other methods such as this is not in any way seeking to substitute the rigorous training we already have in place but is simply another way to potentially bolster those existing programmes that our officers undertake.”
Recently, the city of Lincolnshire introduced its Fatal4 campaign that attempts to bring drivers attention to the dangers of driving under the influence, among other things. ACC Shaun West was quoted saying in the press release that those who did not want to comply with the standards set out in the campaign, must do so within the game - in this case GT Sport - instead of on the roads in Lincolnshire.
GT Sport is the latest entry in the Gran Turismo franchise from Polyphony Digital, launching exclusively on Sony's PlayStation 4 console on October 18. The developer recently ran a beta test, which saw it being played by over one million gamers on the console.
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