Virtual Reality driver training project one of many awarded funding by Transport Canada to improve road safety

In Virtual Reality News

August 23, 2021 – Transport Canada, the Canadian government agency responsible for the country’s transportation policies and programs, has recently announced that it is funding new projects nationwide that will address ongoing road safety challenges, including one project aimed at developing a virtual reality (VR) simulator for commercial drivers.

It was announced earlier this month that a total of 29 new projects have been selected to receive funding from the ‘Enhanced Road Safety Transfer Payment Program’. The Program will provide CAD $12.5 million to fund projects across Canada from government and non-governmental organizations in order to support road safety initiatives and to help create tools that address road safety challenges. These include new tools to decrease drug-impaired driving, cyclist safety, new connected and automated vehicle sensors, and tools to decrease distracted driving and speeding.

Minister of Transport of Canada, Omar Alghabra, commented: “The Enhanced Road Safety Transfer Payment Program is funding new, innovative road safety initiatives. The projects announced will deliver real results that improve road safety for Canadians across the country.”

Alberta Transportation was the applicant awarded the funding for the VR project, which is for the “Development of the Mandatory Entry Level Training Virtual Reality Simulator for Class 1 Novice Commercial Drivers to Improve Road Safety” (also the project title). Transport Canada will contribute almost CAD $1.8 million for FY 2021-2022, with the total project cost standing at just over CAD $5.3 million.  

Projects included in the Enhanced Road Safety Transfer Payment Program include:

  • The above noted development of a virtual reality simulator for commercial drivers to improve road safety;
  • Assessing how simulation technology impacts truck driver training, and determining if this technology is helpful in creating favourable conditions for women to join the trucking industry;
  • Creating a commercial vehicle inspection station with virtual operations;
  • Monitoring impaired driving in Canada; and
  • Increasing public awareness to find visual cues to promote road safety.

Provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, academia, safety organizations, and private sector enterprises are among the groups receiving funding from Transport Canada, which offers a maximum contribution of up to 75 per cent of the total project eligible costs.

Funding for the Enhanced Road Safety Transfer Payment program for 2021-2022 is CAD $12.5 million, an increase of CAD $2 million over the previous year and the highest level offered to date, according to Transport Canada.

For more information on the program, click here.

Image credit: Transport Canada / Twitter

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.