TechTarget, March 27, 2020: About two years ago, Farmers Insurance Exchange started using virtual reality to train claims adjusters. The technology created, in virtual space, actual conditions that employees face in the field. It proved successful at speeding up employee training, and a more advanced approach is being piloted.
The VR training benefits are straightforward, said Tim Murray, senior vice president and head of claims shared services at Farmers. In the past, novice claims adjusters learned by traveling with a more experienced adjuster. Knowledge was gained with field experience and time. VR training accelerates that process by virtualizing the types of problems adjusters tend to encounter. “It would take you years to go through what we’re able to do with virtual reality,” Murray said.
VR training is making headway in many different areas. There are startups that provide HVAC-specific VR training or forklift operations. Another area is trucking. John Smith, director of the Southern State Community College Truck Driving Academy in Wilmington, Ohio, is a former long-time truck driver. He is using VR from Advanced Training Systems LLC to prepare his students for trucking careers.
ATS has two approaches: a flat-screen simulation-only training, and a more immersive system that uses a headset. With the simulator, the student sits in a seat with a gear shift and steering and indicators and learns to shift and drive. But the virtual reality with goggles adds a level of realism, Smith said.
“It’s just like you are sitting in the cab of a truck,” Smith said. As a person looks in different directions, the view through the goggles moves as well. “It’s just like you are doing the real thing,” he said. “The use of simulators helps students get comfortable with operating an actual truck, so that it doesn’t feel strange to them.”
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