As the nation’s first gas utility, we recently implemented another first for BGE — the use of an innovative, 3-D virtual reality (VR) platform to train employees.
While on-the-job training still occurs in real-life situations, BGE is using Virtual Reality to train employees in a safe, controlled classroom setting.
BGE Employees who have used it say the Virtual Reality experience is transformational, with a level of interactivity and sophisticated animation that virtually transport students from the classroom to the job site. Wearing a special headset and smart gloves, in one training scenario a student can feel a power tool vibrating in their hands as they break through a road surface to access underground utility equipment.
Because the VR is similar to gaming systems, many new employees quickly acclimate to it and are excited to use it.
It’s a complementary training tool, not a substitute for more traditional training methods. VR does decrease the time it takes to become proficient in a task, with students applying their virtual-world learnings to actual field training later.
VR training can be expanded to reproduce many different scenarios employees face in the field, and we are looking at new ways to apply this technology to train BGE employees.
We’re powering what’s next to better serve customers today and into the future.