Virtual Reality

Multifunctional VR Simulator for the Tram Manufacturer

VR Tram Simulator

Challenge

Our client is one of the global manufacturers of trams and railway rolling stock. For almost 80 years, the client has built a well-running company with representations in 13 countries. To this day, over 8000 vehicles produced by our client circulate through the world’s largest cities daily. The customer has always been searching for innovative solutions to retain a high level of provided services, which is why they have addressed us. 

Our client required a full-featured simulator to train tram drivers and planned to implement VR technologies for better knowledge acquisition. Another request was to improve tram sales through advertising. The client wanted to present new tram models with the help of VR technologies, too. 

Solution

SOLUTION:
Tram simulator
INDUSTRY:
Heavy manufacturing
TECHNOLOGIES:
C++, Unreal Engine 4
METHODOLOGIES:
Agile
PROJECT DURATION:
10 weeks (project development)
PROJECT TEAM:
5 developers (C++, UE4), 3 UI/UX specialists, 1 PM, and 1 QA

Based on the client’s needs, we decided to build a real-life tram simulator integrated in a highly interactive 3D visualization environment. It displayed all the tram routes located in a particular client location and valid objects nearby, such as residential buildings, plantings, retaining walls, etc. The main simulator features were:

A real-life tram cabin emulating driving conditions
Custom Content Creation
Three 4K visualization channels
Valid objects in VR in full detail
Complete tram driving process simulation
Full-Stack VR Development
High responsiveness to the driver’s actions

The existing routes were not finished yet, so our team modulated the planned 27-kilometer tramway with no real references. Our experts had to create directions based on the existing blueprints most of the time.

Development Approach

At our initial meeting, the client had a very general idea of building a VR-based simulator for training and advertising. So, we started with gathering business requirements to discover the way the client saw the end-product. After that, we proceeded to requirements specifications, followed by content creation, selecting preferable VR gears, development, and deployment. That way, we led a full cycle of VR solution development

We chose Unreal Engine 4 as a platform due to its fast and smart visualization features, leading to C++ as the primary programming language. The simulator itself represented a real-life tram cab with three 4K screens visualization. The cabin was integrated into the VR environment, responding to any driver behavior (ex. oversteering on quick turns, etc.). It contributed to autonomous skill development and helped trainees acquire action patterns in simulated accident situations.

Another project aim was to increase sales. Our VR simulator supported custom tram models, including those to be shown at presentations. Thus, the client could bring the simulator to exhibitions and let their prospective clients check the newest models in full detail.

Results

Tram Siumulator Screen

Our solution helped our client increase the number of qualified tram drivers by 35% per month. On top of that, it reduced the time spent on training by 40%. As a result, the client improved their entire L&D direction.

Advertising reached a new level, too. New models were shown via VR since then, which boosted tram sales by over 15%.

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