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by Brett Davis

Kia has confirmed its continued sponsorship of Motorvation, which has been supporting young driver training now for two years through the Kia Young Drivers (KYDz) program. A new scheme has been set up through Motorvation and Kia that will see two new Mobile Training Centre buses travelling to rural schools around Victoria.

Motorvation is an organisation which has been independently set up to teach young drivers how to drive. And not just how to reverse park, but things like defensive techniques which are crucial for emergency situations, emergency braking, as well as how to eliminate risks and how to manage those split-second moments just before an accident. It’s also about adapting to the attitudes of each individual driver and catering for their needs.

Thanks in part to Kia, Motorvation has been able to develop two brand-new buses which will tour schools in Victoria. These buses contain high-tech computerised driving simulators which will be used to teach young drivers about various aspects of driving. Kia and Motorvation currently have five Kia Cerato vehicles which are a part of Motorvation’s driving courses, but these buses will allow services to be delivered to schools, rather than schools and students having to make their way to the Motorvation grounds.

We’re not talking about your average computer games here. These driving simulators use various hydraulics to shift the driver’s seat up and down in all directions to provide a real-life experience. On top of this, the seat itself is a conventional car seat with a seat belt and is matched with a conventional car steering wheel. These elements are used to help the young drivers become familiar with a real in-car environment.

Kia Motorvation co-principal and chief instructor, Geoff Fickling, recently spoke about the program at a recent launch, saying,

“The Kia Motorvation Program is a life-changing, enjoyable, and essential one-day course for young drivers. It is suitable for pre-learners, learner drivers and P-plate drivers – in fact, anyone aged between 16 and 25 years, the most risky time for any driver.

He says, “It is not about learning how to drive nor how to become super skilled.”

Fickling says the course focuses on the thought patterns of young drivers, and changing those sometimes unconscious attitudes. He says the course is also more about providing customised training to suit a variety of drivers out there, and not just a ‘blanket course’ which covers everyone. Fickling said,

“The Kia Motorvation program is not a defensive, advanced or learn-to-drive program. It is a unique system of understanding drivers’ attitude and action.”

CarAdvice had a go on the advanced computer simulation and we have to say, it was quite hard. Although the car in the simulator was perhaps a little unrealistic and a bit fast for, what was meant to be, a standard car, the overall point the instructors were emphasising still came across very clear.

We watched a number of school kids try out the system as well. Some did surprisingly well at the sudden reaction tasks that were given, but no one could pass the test, not even a range of journalists and industry experts could manage the task of suddenly braking, and swerving into a designated parking box.

The buses will be rolled out across Victoria over the next few years, with plans to develop more buses for other states and territories around the country also in the pipeline.




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