Interview with Lander Simulation

Lander Simulation is a leading company specializing in the design and development of simulation systems for driver training. They specialize in land transportation systems, this is, road and railway sectors. 

Lander simulators are custom-made for the needs of each individual customer. The company’s customers of the railway sector are metro operators, tram operators or mainline railway operators. In the automotive sector, they develop simulators for various fields: bus operators, logistics companies, driving schools, police academies, airside operators, emergency and rescue companies.

In brief, any company, private or public, that transports passengers or goods on roads and railways, can benefit from the didactic potential of Lander simulators. In addition, many universities, research centers and similar entities are also using in our solutions for research purposes. 

Lander Simulation is not a simulator supplier, but a technological partner that creates solutions to help its customers to increase the quality of their training programs, so that the drivers acquire the necessary skills to master their job. By helping customers to perfect their transport activities, Lander Simulation aims to achieve two ultimate goals: on the one hand, to maximize the efficiency of the transport, which affects in the operational costs of the customer; on the other hand, which is most important, to maximize the SAFETY on roads and railways, by minimizing the risk of accidents. 

Mobility and specially mass transportation systems are one of the biggest challenges of the world nowadays. The company strives to make those systems better and safer, thus impacting the lives of millions of people in the world. And they are passionate about their mission. 

Easy Engineerig: What are the main areas of activity of the company? 

Lander Simulation: The objective of our simulator systems is to provide drivers with the possibility to train any potential situation that could happen in reality, but in a safe and controlled environment. This includes situations that are risky or impossible to be reproduced in reality. 

Thanks to the high configurability of the system, the customer can create any desired scenario by configuring parameters like the climate conditions, the road characteristics, the behaviour of other vehicles on the road, scenarios involving pedestrians or animals, or even vehicle breakdowns. This configurability, together with the intelligent analysis software of the system, makes a simulator a very powerful tool for driver training. Lander simulation systems allow designing training programs adapted to individual drivers or groups of drivers, depending on their specific needs. Thanks to the repetitiveness of the simulation scenarios, the drivers increase their knowledge, their awareness and experience. 

All this is achieved keeping a balance between a powerful software, high quality .

E.E: What’s the news about new products? 

Lander Simulation: Since our foundation 20 years ago, we are in constant evolution. We have acquired an extensive knowledge in transport systems and how drivers need to be trained. Our expertise alows us to identify the current needs of our customers, and also to anticipate what comes in the future. In order to provide the most advanced solutions to the market, we keep increasing the quality of our products and this involves the hardware equipment with which the drivers interact, as well as the software that lies behind. 

We have a strong R&D activity to improve our products and develop new solutions for the market. For this we also use the most advanced technological solutions from the market, which are integrated in our simulators. 

We are currently working very intensively in the fields of virtual and augmented reality, in the simulation of electric vehicles and in the analysis of the drivers’ biometrical and psychophysical behaviour (heart rate, eye gaze…) when driving at different stress levels. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products? 

Lander Simulation: We offer a large spectrum of solutions: 1:1 full mission replica cabins that replicate the real vehicle exactly, versatile multipurpose cabins that allow training in different vehicles, compact solutions with very minimal space requirements, apps and software programmes that can be run in any device like telephones or tables… We have different solutions for different needs, all of them intended to reach mastery by the drivers. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? 

Lander Simulation: The use of simulator systems for training is in a more mature phase in the railway sector than in automotive. Some of the largest and most important railway operators in the world have been using simulator systems for many years. However, not all operators are familiarized with simulation technology. There are still countries that keep using the traditional ways of training (i.e. with real vehicles on real railways), which are less effective and much more expensive and risky. Our objective is to bring simulation technology closer to all railway operators and help them elevate the quality of their training methods. 

If we look at the road transportation sector, training drivers with simulators is less extended. Many companies and operators are not using this technology to enhance the skills, awareness and behaviour of their drivers. Some transport professionals tend to think that many years of driving experience are enough to have good skills and master the driving techniques, but this is a wrong believe. When we sit experienced drivers in our simulators and make them face different risky or problematic scenarios, we detect many areas of improvement. The intelligent software of the system alows us to spot weak points of the drivers; these could be lack of awareness in cetain situations, excessive self-confidence and lack of attention, bad habits when driving… etc. But these week areas can be trained and mastered thanks to simulation technology. 

It is taking time, but the market is evolving: transport professionals are changing their perspective and attitude towards simulation technology. They understand that investing in simulation technology brings a very positive impact to their organizations, to their clients and to the society in general. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? 

Lander Simulation: Autonomous driving is trending topic since several years ago. Undoubtedly, algorithms and artificial intelligence will have a vital importance in transport systems in the future, but the target of having roads with fully autonomous vehicles is still far away. The human interaction with the vehicles will still be inevitable in many years, and it is vital to train the human part to maximize safety. Thanks to the R&D in the automotive industry in the last decades, nowadays we have very advanced safety systems in our vehicles, but those systems must be complemented by proper skills, awareness and behaviour of the drivers, which are human and not automatic algorithms. And this is where training comes in. 

A market trend that is more tangible is the transition to eco-friendly and zero emission vehicles, which is applicable to both the road and railway sectors. Electric motors, hydrogen cell batteries and other green technologies are already being implemented by manufacturers. In Lander simulation we develop simulator systems that replicate all the existing technologies, starting from diesel engines up to zero emission vehicles. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? 

Lander Simulation: Our training solutions are focused on improving the human ability to maximize the efficiency of the driving and increase the safety on the roads and railways by minimizing the risk of accidents. The driving circumstances are always different and the biological conditions of drivers are also variable. Traditionally, simulator systems trained and evaluated the inputs of the driver in the vehicle in certain traffic environments. Nowadays we also measure what happens inside the driver: our simulators integrate systems to measure biological and psychophysical indicators such as heart rate, eye gaze, pupil activity… These data provide a very valuable information on how stressful and difficult situations affect the behaviour and response of each driver.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? 

Lander Simulation: Lander has very good perspectives for 2022. We are present in more than 60 countries and we have a wide product range that allows us to carry out a large variety of simulation projects. 

It is a fact that the need for trained personnel is increasingly important for transport companies to improve the commitment of employees and the safety of their operations. Using technological solutions like simulators is of paramount importance to achieve those objectives. 

Furthermore, in the context of the health emergency situation we are undergoing, simulators offer a safe and efficient option for driver training that allows companies to deliver top quality training in a safe environment for both trainers and apprentices.