Delivery drivers were given the chance to try a unique virtual reality experience that allows users to see the world from either a cyclist’s or a driver’s point of view in a virtual space. The aim of the award-winning Wheel Swap virtual reality experience – part of Ford’s Share the Road campaign – is simple: to encourage people to make a few small changes to the way they drive or cycle so that everyone is a bit safer on the road.
More than 35 drivers from consumer delivery firm Hermes participated in the training at one of the firm’s London depots. Hermes delivers 390 million parcels a year – including those from companies such as leading online fashion retailer ASOS – and employs thousands of drivers across its network. The exercise provided a useful opportunity for drivers to see the road from a different perspective, with 88 per cent agreeing that the experience would encourage them to change their behaviour.
Share the Road
There are more people on our roads than ever before, and an increasing number of them are cyclists, so it’s important to encourage a spirit of understanding and respect between every road user, whether they’re travelling on four wheels or two. Share the Road is a Ford of Europe campaign aimed at improving road safety for everyone.
Rising number of vans on the road
The growth of e-commerce is set to continue and couriers, including bikes and vans, are increasingly essential to get goods to customers. According to a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research titled Economics of Commercial Van Usage Across Europe, the number of vans on the road in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the UK increased by more than 10 per cent between 2013 and 2018, from 23,250,000 to 25,690,000. Most growth occurred in Turkey (31 per cent), Germany (24 per cent) and UK (20 per cent).
Wheel Swap was developed by Ford with London-based agency Happy Finish. It has proved an effective tool for building empathy, with 91 per cent of the initial 1,200 participants intending to change their behaviour, 70 per cent displaying greater empathy to their driving and cycling counterparts after watching the VR experience and 60 per cent of participating driver and cyclists changing their on-road habits within two weeks of taking part. It has won six awards, including accolades from SABRE and European Excellence Awards.
“We were pleased to partner with Ford on the Wheel Swap virtual reality experience, which gave our drivers a real insight into the perspective of other road users. Feedback from all our drivers was very positive. At Hermes, we are committed to ensuring our staff receive the best training possible and so this supports their continual development. “
Martin Allwood – Network Contractor Manager, Hermes
“This unique chance to take part in the scheme enabled me to further my awareness of road safety. It certainly helped me and I am sure it will prove very useful.”
Courtney Whyte, driver, Hermes
“It is important to Ford that all road users are able to reach their destination safely. We fully support greater diversity in last mile delivery solutions and are actively working to stimulate more cargo bike deliveries in urban areas. Working with companies like Hermes in this way helps keep the roads as safe as possible for all.”
Tom Thompson, project lead, Ford Mobility
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 191,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com or www.quickpic.co.za - follow us at www.facebook.com/FordSouthAfrica , www.twitter.com/FordSouthAfrica , www.instagram.com/FordSouthAfrica or www.youtube.com/FordSouthAfrica