Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advanced Training Center announced a new driving simulator designed to help wounded servicemembers regain their driving skills with a simulator vehicle and return to driving independence.
The technology offers a driving simulation that reacts to the driver and provides feedback in a non-threatening and constructive manner to help users operate a vehicle safely. Physical and occupational therapists will use the simulator as an assessment tool to identify possible deficit areas in driving that some soldiers may be unaware of.
The simulator addresses issues like vehicle entry and egress, driving with modifications, and driving in civilian solutions. Scenarios are also presented where drivers have to deal with road debris, tailgating, reacting to traffic signs, and managing stress associated with driving situations.
The simulator uses a Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab chassis and is equipped with active steering, brakes, accelerator, Gear select and instrument panel; driver inputs tied to America's Army gaming software, a Bruno Orbit Seat for passenger side; Minox hand controls; adjustable seating height; and an interior redesigned for easy cleaning and maintenance.
Launched as part of Warrior Care Month -- an initiative emphasizing the care of wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers -- the driving simulator is a collaborative effort involving government and corporate partners such as the Army Center for Enhanced Performance, America's Army, GM Mobility, General Motors Automotive Automotive Service Education Program at the Community College of Baltimore County, Bruno Independent Living Aids and other local businesses.
"We are pleased to be able to launch this simulator during Warrior Care Month," says Col. Norvell Van Coots, Walter Reed Health Care System's commander. "Our wounded warriors will now be able to regain their driving skills, using one of the most advanced and realistic rehabilitation tools created to help our recovering servicemembers."