Schneider National Inc. announced it will incorporate MPRI's motion-based driver training simulator fleet-wide to improve the carrier’s driver training program.

Schneider will purchase simulators over the next 12 months for its network of driver training academies located across the United States and Canada. Schneider will offer the simulator to its trainees through its company-paid driver training program. Currently Schneider's driver training program is primarily instructor-based. The new program will incorporate both computer and simulation training to expose drivers to a broader range of on-the-road scenarios, including driving in inclement weather, handling equipment failures or navigating heavy traffic.

"Using motion-based simulation technology allows us to train drivers for those situations that cannot safely be replicated under our current training methods," said Schneider vp-- safety & training Don Osterberg.

"Think of it as an IMAX experience for trucking," Osterberg said. "In the simulator, the driver's seat and on-screen images will move, spin and rotate to create the sensation of different driving conditions. It's amazing how realistic simulation makes these scenarios feel."

Schneider National piloted its new integrated learning model, which included the simulator, in September 2004. Within five months, Schneider saw fewer accidents and a significant reduction in the dropout rate for inexperienced and experienced drivers and fewer accidents.

"Simulation-based training has been highly successful in the U.S. military and in the airline industry, and we now have the opportunity to apply the same training method to the trucking industry in order to reduce accidents and improve safety for our drivers and the motoring public," said Osterberg.