Japanese ship operator Mitsui OSK has announced the development of new content for its virtual reality (VR)-based marine safety education programme, allowing trainees to virtually capture the sensations of „falling“, „hand being caught between something“, and experiencing „an incinerator explosion incident“. The program uses VR goggles and VR technology created by Tsumiki Seisaku.
With the VR tool, trainees can experience onboard operations, with computer graphic simulations of moving around on the ship, in conjunction with their own movements, allowing them to pinpoint dangerous areas and situations. If a crew works without recognising a danger, there is a higher likelihood of an accident or problem. The VR-based content enables them to think about issues that require extra care and help them plan their next moves during onboard operations.
Furthermore, the new content involves all the trainees‘ senses by introducing new equipment that replicates touching and sensing they would experience during an onboard accident, taking the training to a new level of realism. In particular, trainees may feel an electric shock (at imperceptible current) administered by the controller, as well as hear and see the situation and feel vibration through the VR goggles. This is intended to connect the training to instinctive learning by recreating the experience of an actual accident.
MOL says it strives for more effective onboard safety education including development of additional content, with the aim of raising mariners‘ safety awareness and eliminating onboard accidents through practical use of experience-based education tools, which mark a tremendous advance in authenticity compared to current training content.