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Institutes of Technology Ireland
Research & Innovation

Creation of a Virtual World for Driver Simulation

The Driver Education Centre is a start-up company based in the Enterprise and Research Incubation Centre at the Institute of Technology, Carlow (IT Carlow). The company provides driver education programmes for individuals who have been disqualified from driving or who are returning to driving after illness or injury. A driving simulator is a key component of these driver education programmes. Its location at the Enterprise and Research Incubation Centre has allowed the company to access a high level of technological and business expertise as well as the R&D facilities and know-how at IT Carlow.

The Driver Education Centre wished to improve their driver education programme by expanding and improving the driving scenarios presented by the driving simulator and by providing virtual access to customers. Software development expertise was needed to address these requirements. IT Carlow provided two students from the Department of Computing and Networking to work with the company on 6-month student placements. With appropriate guidance and oversight in place, the students worked with the company to develop, test and implement software to give enhanced capability to the driving simulator, and improve the driver education programme.

As part of the technical solution, the students have developed a non-fixed database that supports the custom-creation of driving scenarios for the driving simulator. This allows driving scenarios to be changed depending upon the specific training requirements. The students also delivered virtual access. This allows clients to use the driving simulation programme from a remote location. In follow-on work, IT Carlow is also helping the Driver Education Centre in creating driving lessons that will be available for download from the iTunes website. For the company, the student placements have resulted in a much-improved driver education programme as well as increased ease of access to a broad customer base that extends outside of the region. It has given the students valuable experience of the workplace and an opportunity to put their software development skills to practical, commercial use. The placements have also contributed to the Institute’s ability to offer programmes that are closely aligned with the needs of industry.

Testimonials

“Since the inception of the company we have enjoyed strong support from IT Carlow. We have 2 computer programming students on work placement at present, one of whom creates driving scenarios for our simulators and the other who is developing a virtual world, both students are ahead of schedule and can only be described as professional and extremely knowledgeable in their fields. It has been our pleasure to build this relationship and hope it shall continue into the future.”
Brenda Bolger, Driver Education Centre

Client: Driver Education Centre
Institution:
Institute of Technology Carlow
Industry: ICT
National Priority Area: Digital Platforms, Content and Applications

External Services Manager
Brian Ogilvie
Enterprise & Research Incubation Campus
Institute of Technology, Carlow
Kilkenny Road
Carlow, Ireland
T: +353 (0)59 917 5223
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