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DriveWise VFH simulator training launches in Toronto on June 21st

DriveWise’s Solutions Manager Samantha Clarke and one of the mobile training units. Photo: RWN

On June 21st, DriveWise will launch its first session training Vehicle for Hire (VFH) drivers in Toronto. Taxi News visited the DriveWise central facility in Barrie, Ontario to “test drive” the simulators on which the training will be delivered; it was a learning experience.

The 8-hour training session will be delivered in one of DriveWise’s mobile classroom trailers, at The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 286, 11 Irwin Rd, Etobicoke. Registration information is available through DriveWise’s website, here. Training will consist of four hours of instruction, and four hours on the simulators with an instructor.

While other trainers provide in-class and on-line training, DriveWise will be providing its state-of-the-art simulator training to both new and fully experienced drivers in the program.

“All of our programs are rooted in our six-star approach to cooperative driving,” explains DriveWise president Lesley DeRepentigny. “It is a proven learning model to reinforces good driving habits while modifying drivers’ behaviours, and improving their decision making ability.”

Variable cityscapes and driving environments

Catherine Scharpenke, Vice President of Operations, demonstrated a variety of vehicles including Taxi, passenger vehicle, fire truck, and snow plow Customized programming and instructors working in real time can challenge students with a variety of road and weather conditions.
DriveWise’s simulators are custom-programmed to replicate a wide variety of driving experiences and conditions, with particular focus on the driver’s emotional intelligence and situational awareness.

DriveWise partners with almost 100 organizations including Rogers, Irving Oil, Canada’s armed forces, Toronto Police, and numerous EMS providers, municipal services, commercial trucking companies and corporate fleets to train their drivers across Canada. It has been developing industry-specific training programs since 2004, and has partnered with Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers training and assessing Taxi drivers for since 2013. President Lesley DeRepetigny is a veteran of Canada’s armed forces; her training career was launched training on flight simulator technology in the early 1990s.

Samantha Clarke and Driving Instructor Ken Whale with a full-sized mobile training unit. DriveWise, a division of KnowledgeSurge Learning  Solutions Inc, was established in 2004 with a mandate to provide high quality, advanced learning solutions to the toad transportation industry. Photo: RWN

Student view and instructor view

Driving a transport truck, student view: the instructor is managing the “trip” in real time and can add traffic, bad weather, obstructions, or in this case – a blown-out tire. While the student drive sees the road through the vehicle windshield, the instructor sitting at a computer nearby sees the vehicle and all of its surrounding environment and hazards.
Student driving a transport truck, instructor view: “When you are on the road in live traffic, the instructor has five things to think about related to safety in the vehicle before they can think about training,” president Lesley DeRepetigny points out. “In the simulator, not only can we design situations to test the driver’s ability, but we can replay it for them to watch so they can catch and correct their own mistakes. The instructor is totally focused on only one thing, and that is the driver’s performance.”
DriveWise founder Lesley DeRepentigny served in Canada’s armed forces and launched her career in training using aircraft simulators. “Driving is more than the rules of the road – it includes emotional intelligence and situational awareness,” she says as she describes some of DriveWise’s unique features. DriveWise trains more than 35,000 drivers per year and has a client approval rating of over 99 per cent.