UK Governmental subsidiary National Highways control roughly 3500 miles of roads in the region. To increase the efficiency of its officers, the firm turned to a Varjo-powered MXT training platform to upskill frontline workers with disruption.

National Highways is teaming up with MXT to create an inexpensive training system that does not interrupt operating roads. MXT chose Varjo as a hardware base for its mixed reality (MR) driver training simulator, which provides a practical, immersive training solution.

MXT’s MR training solution simulates what a highway officer may encounter while on patrol.

For the project, Varjo provides its XR-3 headset with an accompanying motion rig and driver cock pit, which trainees operate while immersed in a virtual scenario.

The Varjo XR-3 headset contains incredibly powerful components that display high-quality extended reality (XR) visuals.

Varjo’s product contains a 1920 x 1920 pixel per eye resolution, horizontal 115-degree field of view, 90 Hz refresh rate, Ultraleap Gemini hand tracking, 200 Hz eye-tracking with sub-degree accuracy, positional tracking with Stream VR 2.0, and Varjo inside-out tracking.

Varjo, MXT Provides Flexible and Repeatable National Highway Training

National Highway training scenarios can be incredibly disruptive to operating roads and managers due to high costs and highway closure.

Although, by leveraging Varjo’s MR platform, MXT can provide the UK governmental firm with a low-cost solution that recreates scenarios that tutors struggle to teach in a classroom environment.

MXT’s “state-of-the-art mixed reality driver training simulator” can assist National Highways in teaching critical scenarios that are “hard to replicate in the real world for various reasons,” says Josh Thompson, Program Manager at MXT, who added that this is the National Highways’ most significant challenge.

MXT chose MR headsets as the most effective hardware solution to match its immersive learning platform.

Thompson explained that MXT’s solution puts a trainee in a virtual, interactable car. The platform then allows the trainer to control a simulated scenario. During the process, users keep a “vital sense of presence” thanks to Varjo’s MR hardware “, which is key to effective experiential training.”

What Does a Trainee See?

National Highway Traffic Officers work in high-pressure and high-stress environments; MXT looks to replicate that feeling with an MR wearable, a driving rig, and an immersive sound system.

When trainees enter the simulation, the service places them in a National Highways’ Traffic Officer Vehicle (TOV), with accurately replicated controls, switches, and buttons that reflect road world vehicles.

“Realism is the name of the game here,” says Cat Flynn, Lead Programmer at MXT. The firm must deliver an immersive learning experience which can replicate a potential scenario, so a trainee is effective in the field.

That is why, alongside Varjo, MXT partnered with Motion Systems to integrate a full motion platform where users sit.

The Motion Systems platform, driving rig, and virtual cockpit create an incredibly realistic recreation of a TOV and how it functions and reacts while under operation.

Cat Flynn also added:

We [MXT] want to create an experience that approximates the real situation as close as we can. – At the most basic level, if a driver needs to reverse and do that using only their side mirrors, we want them to be able to do that accurately. It is important that we get well into the weeds on this one and really understand what they need to do, how, and in what circumstances.

As MTX refines its immersive training solution, the firm works closely with Traffic Officer Trainers to gain feedback to improve the platform.

MXT uses Traffic Officer Trainer feedback to add new functionalities that prepare trainees for any situation.

Varjo, MXT’s Flexible Content Creation Suite for National Highways

MXT is developing in-house software which enables Traffic Officer Trainers to leverage the system to create a range of learning scenarios.

MXT’s self-authoring suite for immersive learning content allows Traffic Officer Trainers to recreate actual highways. Moreover, the system allows a mentor to alter elements like traffic, weather conditions, and time of day.

The flexible system helps trainers create an immersive environment with built-in traffic management and environmental tools.

The project goal for MXT is to create a general-purpose immersive training tool which allows a mentor to create as many scenarios as possible.

MXT is considering scenarios that may not be commonplace for Traffic Officers, such as an overturned truck.

According to MXT, its training solution can balance a Traffic Officer’s everyday duties and rarer moments when a challenging event fully demonstrates an officer’s reliabilities.

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