VR City, created by a team led by two former Air Force colleagues, looking poised to revolutionize aviation training.
After many discussions with various industry stakeholders, the team found many shortcomings in the training landscape that resulted in high costs, a high drop-out rate, and a lengthy training regimen. VR City was established in response to flaws in the way aviation is taught to a new generation of learners, who have vastly different learning needs. Designed as a platform that could scale as required, VR City is here to meet the needs of future training demand that is expected to exceed current training capacity.
Originally, Alan and Mike were colleagues in the air force many years ago. However, their ambitions led them to follow different career paths. Mike chose to stay with the air force and rose to senior leadership positions while Alan made his mark in various aviation and aerospace ventures across the globe.
Fast forward to today, Alan and Mike reacquainted, they pulled a team and created the concept of VR City – a virtual aviation training platform for future aviators. Together with the hard work and dedication of the Delphi Technology Team, VR City is currently in development as an adaptive training platform with the integration of 3D software.
Why is VR City being created? Listed below are 5 problems in the aviation industry that led to the creation of VR City.
- Training Capacity is Insufficient to Meet Demand
Once COVID is eliminated, industry experts expect the demand for air transport to skyrocket. As a result, there will be a strong demand for pilots, cabin crew and aircraft maintenance technicians. In addition, the expected retirement of existing pilots will further fuel this demand in the next decade. However, the aviation training industry is currently unable to meet this growing demand. With VR City as a virtual training platform, we use emerging technologies to meet this increasing demand. We provide aviation training anywhere in the world through virtual instructors, online flight simulation and high accessibility at a lower cost.
Most aviation schools are locally owned around the world. Due to the nature of aviation training, most of these schools operate in areas outside large cities. If you are interested in going to these schools, you will heavily rely on their advertised services to find what they offer locally. As VR City is a virtual platform, we have a higher capacity to host an even larger number of students around the world. Not only can students gain knowledge about aviation, but they will also establish long-lasting relationships with aspiring aviators and prospective employers worldwide.
- New Evolving Learning Styles
As the needs of the learner has changed, we have to ensure the role of the educator must evolve as well. Currently, the next Generation of Aviation Professionals are either classified as Millennials or Generation Z. While Millennials are known to be tech-savvy, Generation Z are digital natives who are accustomed to learning by toggling between real and virtual worlds, learning by research and indicate a preference for collaboration. As different generations learn differently, we want to ensure our training platform, VR City, caters to the different learning styles and needs of each different generation.
- Accessibility to Affordable Training
Today, the costs of aviation training are extremely expensive. As technology advances, prices drop, and products get better. Our current technologies in VR City can be used to its fullest capabilities to produce interactive, accessible, and affordable courses for students. Through a subscription-based pricing model, students can access their courses anywhere and anytime. Additionally, these reduced costs help alleviate the burden of student loans.
- Low awareness of Available Aviation Careers
Many students believe that they are unqualified to be in the aviation industry due to lack of awareness of job prospects in the industry and the lack of introduction regarding aviation-related careers in school systems. In fact, there is also a lack of aviation educational materials for high school students, which causes schools to overlook aviation education in high school. To provide more awareness of available aviation careers, we host virtual trade shows, webinars, and airshows, such as our upcoming Aerospace and Aviation in Manitoba Day event, to connect prospective employees with their future employers. We aim to incorporate aviation training into STEM programs through VR City, raise knowledge of aviation professions through our VR City events, and encourage more younger students to pursue careers in aviation.
- COVID-19 and Working Remotely
After three months of VR City planning and utilizing virtual reality technologies, COVID-19 shook the world and we eventually started VR City with the integration of 3D software first, which will be then followed by the integration of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals around the world are unable to meet up and this led to the decline of in-person training. As a result, in-person training was eventually replaced with video conference training. To foster peer learning and allow students to have fun in VR City, we shifted away from the traditional video conference teaching toward a virtual, collaborative avatar-based experience. That is why VR City has a significant global outreach and is in partnerships with flight schools and educational institutions that provides students the last-mile instruction and licensing.
With the lockdowns and quarantines enforced around the world, many people are currently working remotely. As a result, many schools have been forced to deliver their services virtually. These changes have affected many students and many students perceive online learning to be a lonely experience. With VR City, we have made it possible for students to learn in a group and collaborate with each other in real-time virtually. Thus, this pandemic created a great opportunity for us to produce an interactive virtual training platform for students.
We envisioned a training environment that everyone could navigate from anywhere in the world. We want our students to have Artificial Intelligence support to guide and tutor as required. With a long-standing knowledge of the problems, the impacts of COVID-19, and the emergence of new and available technologies, VR City is created to teach future aviators how to fly. At VR City, we hope to rejuvenate the interest in aviation and help to spark aspiring aviators.