Covid has meant a change of career for many people, but sometimes it’s hard to visualise what it would be like working in a new industry without hands on experience. Driver training and safety solution experts AutoSense, are changing the game for anyone looking at a future in bus driving; their ultra-realistic AutoSense Heavy Vehicle simulator means people can actually feel what it’s like to be out on the road in a vehicle that size.
And it’s working. In October, the AutoSense Heavy Vehicle simulator was part of the Tranzurban Open Day in Wellington (thanks to the generous sponsorship of NZI). It was open to the general public and by the end of the day, the company had received 12 job applications for various roles across their organisation. “Having the AutoSense heavy vehicle simulator on site as part of our Tranzurban Jobs Open Day was great,” says Natalie Cobden, Tranzurban Hutt Valley General Manager. “It added a fun, interactive element as well as helping to break down barriers people may have had about giving bus driving a go. They felt they could try it in a safe, quiet environment and be guided by Mark Fletcher, the simulator trainer, who was very patient and clear with his instructions.”
Following the open day, Tranzurban kept the Heavy Vehicle simulator onsite to give their team specialist training, which they also found really helpful. “This is a totally different setting to our usual bus training, but was really complementary and also, lots of fun,” says Natalie. “We are so grateful to NZI for sponsoring the simulator being with us over those two days and making this all possible. We were able to give our Driver Trainer Team Leader a more challenging scenario of coping with a tyre blowout and manoeuvring around roadworks directly before a single lane bridge on a bend - something you couldn’t really do in real life! At the end of the day, we did an internal competition with bragging rights up for grabs, which was great. Nothing like a bit of friendly competition to liven things up.”
Transport is a tough industry and drivers are few and far between at the moment. “We loved being able to provide that interactive element for Tranzurban.” says Charles Dawson, AutoSense CEO. “And to know it actually encouraged people to apply for roles is the ultimate job satisfaction.”