It is a widely discussed fact in India that any major technological advancement or a breakthrough is carried out by private entities. In the case of virtual reality as well, it holds true that the private sector is spearheading the spread and growth, but an encouraging fact is that now the government is also slowly catching up with the trend. The first, being the Indian Railways.

Indian Railways is not new to accidents, it has never been. The cause of worry is that even after some substantial up gradation of technology over the years, fueled by massive investments by the government, the number and frequency of accidents is actually increasing, instead of coming down. The reason may be that the present coach and track specifications date back to 1950’s, while the speed has increased manifold since then.

To give safety in railways a new dimension, the government is now setting up  India’s first ever disaster management institute on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The facility is being set up at a cost of Rs. 44.42 crore. And guess what? It is going to make use of virtual reality in a massive way.

‘Derailment’ has been the single major cause of railway accidents, accounting for more than 40% of all accidents that have occurred. Interestingly, such eventualities of derailments, plus their aftermath, can be effectively stimulated using virtual reality. That’s exactly what’s going to happen at Indian Railways’ Disaster Management Institute. Here, VR will be used extensively for research and training purposes. Trains falling off bridges, coaches catching fire and derailments will become common sights here by the year end. Of course, all of this is going to happen in the virtual space.

This will be something very similar to the mock drills that are carried out by security forces. While it’s practically impossible to mock a derailment, virtual reality will make this very much possible, and as close to reality as it can get.

Virtual Reality will not only help the government find ways to prevent railway accidents and improvise the safety measures, but it will also help fine tune the rescue and medical relief training for its personnel.

The government departments adopting future-edge technologies like VR is a very positive sign. This is certainly going to boost the spread and acceptance for virtual reality in a massive way. Let’s gear up for the day when virtual reality will become an indispensable part of our day to day life!

First reported by YourStory


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