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AFTRAL and Audace Digital Learning inaugurate the delivery of 50 virtual reality training simulators and announce new development perspectives in favor of innovation.

On January 28, AFTRAL, the first training center in the fields of transport and logistics in France, and Audace Digital Learning, designer of innovative training solutions, inaugurated the delivery of 50 virtual reality training simulators. The opportunity for us to make a review their partnership and consider new joint projects.


The collaboration between AFTRAL and Audace started three years ago. In 2018, Audace Digital Learning won the first Innovation Prize from the Areva Group for a polar bridge driving simulator for the nuclear industry and then crossed paths with AFTRAL, which plans to acquire simulation tools for the driving training of gear.

Together, they decide to undertake a common project: the implementation of an Automated Erecting Crane simulator. They set a requirement : far from video games, these tools must reproduce the driving of a real machine with extreme fidelity. Then begins a year of discussions, design and adjustments to achieve a very advanced simulation. As stated by Thomas Varré, Director of Pedagogy and Operations Services at AFTRAL:

“We turned to Audace’s team for very simple reasons : we found experts in front of us, curious to understand what the objective was and to transform the expectations of business experts into technological solutions. We built together each situation, each exercise, each event in the simulation, in collaboration with former professionals, trainers and trainees, who were able to verify the accuracy of the gestures and reactions that are expected of the gear. “.

Thomas Varré, AFTRAL’s Director of Pedagogy and Operations Services


This first experience was crowned with success and two other projects were emerging to support the training of professionals: the creation of simulators for auxiliary cranes on delivery trucks and work platforms. Once more time, these new tools appeal to AFTRAL, which sees them as a means of preparing future machine operators, upstream and downstream of training on real machine. As Joël Radouan, Deputy Director of Pedagogy at AFTRAL, explained, “These tools are integrated into two great moments of learning: at the beginning and at the end of the training. At the beginning, the simulation will allow the trainees to take control of the material with which they will be brought to work. It also helps alleviate the apprehension of young drivers, which can interfere with learning to drive. The trainees then train on a real machine, then return to the simulation to practice very specific situations, not reproducible in real life. “. In short, an effective way to best prepare future drivers for any driving situation and to provide standardized training.

In 2020, AFTRAL decides to equip a large part of its centers with these new training tools. The agreement concludes with the purchase of the first 50 simulation kits (25 nacelle driving kits and 25 auxiliary crane driving kits), which are currently being deployed in the Operational Directorate of Western France. According to Thomas Varré, the tool is already very popular with trainers, who recognize the prowess of simulation and the educational effectiveness of these new tools.

During the event, Thomas Varré announced his intention to continue the deployment of these two simulators in all 120 French centers by 2023 and envisaged new perspectives, such as the acquisition of driving simulators from overhead cranes, already in the Audace Digital Learning catalog.

For Audace Digital Learning, the culmination of this partnership with the sale of the first 50 training kits represents a major challenge for the company. As Jérôme Poulain, the Audace’s Associate Director, indicates: “Going from research to prototypes and then to a large-scale operational version is an important moment for Audace Digital Learning: ideas become reality”. He added: “The contract with AFTRAL is decisive in our desire to expand our range of off-the-shelf VR simulators and make Audace a leader on the French and international market. “.

Building on its expertise in the field, the company has just exported two simulators overseas and is gradually expanding its borders in Morocco. The company, which posted a positive result in 2020 despite the crisis, plans to expand its range of simulators further in 2021.

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