Geneva’s public transport are strongly used by their inhabitants. Their trams, omnipresent in the city of Calvin, need to be perfectly controlled to give users a pleasant and punctual transportation. The job of tram driver is difficult and requires extensive training because it is difficult to practice in order to be prepared for all possible eventualities. Virtual reality solves this problem.
We were commissioned by TPG to create a tram driving simulator program to demonstrate the potential of this technology. The idea was simple: reproduce the tram line 14 on two stops of the city of Meyrin and integrate two potential events in it.
The situations chosen by Geneva’s public transport consisted of a normal or dangerous action of a car at a crossing. It stopped at the light or pass dangerously in front of the tram.
Since this is a simulator, the person wearing the VR headset (HTC Vive) finds himself in a tram cabin. The entire environment, the infrastructure, the vehicles and the driver’s cabin are created by us. We have been able to rely on the maps of the SITG to build in three dimensions the environment of Meyrin.
Geneva’s public transport also provided us precise data of the external structure of the Tango Tram. We also measured the interior of the cabin in order to reproduce exactly the same. We finally recorded several sounds such as the alarm bell or the ambient sounds that drivers hear during their service. We gave greater importance to the cabin, the element closest to the user.
As this is a prototype, we have opted for some primary interactions concerning the possibilities offered to the driver, such as the control of the doors, the ignition key or even the different buttons of the console in front of the driver.
The reactions and opinions were very positive concerning the prototype that we were able to present to the general public during the 40 years anniversary of TPG.