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New Opportunities in Hazmat Transportation Safety Education: The TRANSCAER Augmented Reality App

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July 10, 2023
Erica Fischer, CHEMTREC, Director of Training and Community Outreach

In an era of technological advancements, the transportation industry is no stranger to embracing innovative solutions for enhanced safety. One example is the TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness Emergency Response) Augmented Reality App. This cutting-edge tool offers new opportunities in hazmat transportation safety training by blending augmented reality elements with real-world scenarios, empowering users to gain knowledge and skills in an interactive and engaging manner. 

The TRANSCAER augmented reality app leverages the power of augmented reality (AR) technology to create an immersive and dynamic learning experience. By overlaying virtual elements onto the real-world scenarios through a smartphone or tablet camera, the user will be able to view and interact with a virtual full-scale railcar and acquire skills in operation of specific components in a mixed digital and real-world environment that has traditionally only been possible while being in the presence of the physical railcar itself. 

There are currently four scenarios within the application. The app allows users to visualize, explore, and manipulate: Department of Transportation (DOT) 117 handles; rupture discs; manway gaskets; and mitigate a chlorine Leak. A user guide is also available for download assistance and walking through each scenario, and for troubleshooting questions. 

The TRANSCAER augmented reality app presents several key benefits:

Enhanced Engagement: By merging virtual elements with the real-world scenarios, the app helps attract users' attention and facilitate active participation. This interactive learning experience supports engagement and knowledge retention. 

Digital Learning Environment: The app creates a digital environment for users to explore hazardous materials and emergency scenarios. This enables learners to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them without on-sight risks to lives or the environment. 

Practical Application of Skills: Through realistic simulations, users can apply their knowledge in practical situations. This interactive training supports timely and prepared responses during actual emergencies, potentially saving lives and minimizing the impact of incidents. 

Accessibility and Reach: As a mobile application, TRANSCAER reaches a vast audience, including industry professionals, emergency responders, educators, and the public. This accessibility democratizes safety education and empowers a broader community to actively participate in promoting transportation safety.

By harnessing the power of augmented reality, this training tool provides an immersive and interactive learning experience. TRANSCAER looks forward to expanding the number of scenarios available on the app, so stay tuned for the next scenario involving a hazmat incident at a rail crossing to be released later this year!