Racing simulators aren't anything new, with professional drivers having used them to train and prepare for real-world racing for years. However, there's more that sim-rigs can be used for than just learning an unfamiliar F1 circuit. CXC Simulations has developed a tactical driving simulator to help train government agents and police officers in safer, more effective methods of chasing or apprehending criminals.
Prior to CXC's driving simulator, police and various other government agencies would train their officers one a year, or once a career in many cases, in a real car and in controlled environments, such as on a race track. Not only is that extremely costly, hence why officers are trained so infrequently, but it's also ineffective, as you can only train for so many scenarios in the real world. With this new driving simulator, officers can be trained for countless different situations, with any sort of vehicle, as many times as they'd like.
"It's very difficult to do this without software, because you have real cars, real tires, real brakes, real body panels; everything needs to be replaced. With software, I hit a reset button and start it all over again." said Brian Knudson, technical specialist for CXC Simulations. "It's very simple for them to simply pick a car, pick a track, and they literally hit the 'Go' button." he continued.
Agents can train like this for as long as they'd like and then, when they're done, they can actually hit a replay button and review their work. So not only can they review their mistakes quickly but go back and attempt to correct them immediately.
The sim-engine itself is supposed to be able to replicate vehicle physics with incredible accuracy; from tire wear, to weight transfer, to vehicle damage. It's even said to be able to accurately replicate real world changes in weather and road conditions. If drivers want to train in specific locations, CXC can laser-scan different locations, with millimeter-accuracy, to provide training to officers and government agents for exact situations. Things like evasive maneuvers, pit-maneuvers, pursuit training, and both forward and reverse 180-degree turns can be practiced over and over again with this new driving simulator. It's even multiplayer, allowing for student versus instructor, or student versus student training.
While CXC doesn't offer much info on the specific simulation software engine being used, it does use a Motion Pro II simulator rig, which has full-motion hydraulic systems and haptic feedback, to give driver's the feeling of driving a real vehicle.
All the while, this setup from CXC Simulations is said to be cheap enough that police departments can buy one and have it setup for officers to use on a regular basis, for training. If more and more police departments get these sims, it will make public roads safer.