Bouygues to use virtual reality during safety training

French construction firm Bouygues is to use virtual reality (VR) headsets during safety training.

Similar to a system devised by researchers at a German university last year, the HTC Vive will be used to simulate situations that are close to real life to make employees aware of hazards.

Bouygues says that the method will help construction site workers anticipate and perform better when faced with hazardous situations.

The "extremely realistic" simulations can replicate a falling object onsite, a fire, a missing safety barrier or the effect of having your capacities reduced by drink or drugs, allowing participants to "experience accidents that would have heavy consequences in real life".

The firm say that "future development is leading to the manipulation of real objects in the virtual world, thanks in particular to research recently launched for a doctoral thesis, as well as to human interactions that could make distance learning possible, especially with regard to high-risk tasks."

Hervé Fontaine, vice president for business development at HTC Vive, said: "Bouygues has already shown itself to be a pioneer with regard to virtual reality applications for visualising buildings and structures before construction and making more informed choices during the design phase. It was obvious that our collaboration could go further with respect to aspects relating to construction sites, safety and training.

"The Vive Business Edition will enable Bouygues to roll out its virtual reality trainings in its internal network.

"The recent arrival of Vive Tracker, which makes it possible to use real objects as tools within virtual reality training modules, opens up very interesting possibilities for training that deals with at-risk situations in an extremely convincing way."

Roland Le Roux, head of virtual reality and open innovation at Bouygues, said: "Virtual reality is proving extremely popular in property development, architecture and the design of structures.

"The whole purpose of the collaboration between Vive and Bouygues Construction is to bring virtual and augmented reality into the universe of construction sites and the operation of buildings and structures.

"In these areas, the Vive Business Edition system is clearly the most effective tool and the one that is closest to our needs, particularly because of its range of accessories."

In 2016
HTC agreed a $1.5bn plan with the Shenzen government in China to create a virtual reality investment fund and a research centre.

Image courtesy of Bouygues/YouTube

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News