National Express Coventry invites members of the public to try state of the art bus simulator at careers open day

06 December 2022 12:00 PM

Coventry City Council Cllr Pervez Akhtar And Leader Cllr George Duggins Bus Simulator

Coventry City Council Councillor Pervez Akhtar tries the UK's first DriVR bus simulator

A first of its kind virtual reality bus driving simulator will be available for the public to try at National Express Coventry’s careers open day this Friday 9th December.

Using the DriVR machine’s fully immersive 360-degree image, members of the public have the opportunity to get behind the wheel and ‘virtually’ drive a bus in a variety of different driving scenarios including severe weather, driving in the dark and emergency braking, simulating a real life trip out on the road - but without the risks brought by reality.

Mark Heffernan, National Express UK Operations and Safety Director said:

“We are inviting everybody to join us at our careers open day at the Bull Yard this Friday, where people who have maybe never considered a career in public transport can talk to our teams and find out more about the job opportunities available with us.

“Our revolutionary mobile bus simulator will be there for people to have a go behind the virtual wheel and get a real feel for bus driving, without the risk of doing that on the training yard.

“Working in public transport is a fantastic career and we welcome everybody to join us on the journey in helping to connect our communities with important work, education and leisure opportunities.

“We are actively recruiting for a number of roles including bus drivers and engineers. We’ve recently increased pay rates and improved flexibility with part time work and shorter week options. Full training is provided so I’d encourage anyone who is interested to come along this Friday and find out more.”

National Express is currently the only business in the UK to have the premium Simfor DriVR bus simulator kit and 300 drivers have already tried it, with 100% recommending it to others. The company aims to have four of the state of the art machines by the end of the year.

During a depot visit from Coventry City Council, Councillor Pervez Akhtar tried the DriVR bus simulator and said:

“I would like to thank National Express Coventry for hosting the Leader Councillor
Duggins and I during our visit to the depot.

“It was an excellent opportunity to find out about the hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes to train and develop the city’s bus drivers to be the safest.

“The new simulator is a really innovative and exciting piece of kit that enables National Express bus drivers to develop their driving skills in a risk-free environment.”

Trainee and qualified drivers at National Express Coventry have commented on their own individual experiences too:

"I feel more prepared for when I start my on-the-road training with National Express. I was surprised just how big a bus is and how different it is to driving a car. Thanks to the simulator, I feel like I'm one step ahead."

"It was great having training to help me with bus stops on the simulator. My trainer was able to explain why I should approach bus stops differently and why it will benefit my own and my passengers’ safety."

"This new method of training is much better than traditional methods. It can prepare us for so many different scenarios in a safe risk-free environment."

As well as the bus simulator being present, National Express’s recruitment team will also be on-hand at the open day with goodies and careers information. Members of the public can register their interest with the team on the day and even book onto an assessment the following week.

Working with Coventry City Council, National Express Coventry’s careers open day and public bus simulator experience will take place at The Job Shop, Employer Hub, 1 Bull Yard, Coventry, CV1 1LH on Friday 9th December from 9:00am until 6:30pm.