Police officers have been receiving extra lessons in high-speed car chases - by playing a PlayStation VIDEO GAME at Silverstone race track on the border of Northants and Bucks.
PlayStation has partnered up with Lincolnshire Police for a trial in order to provide extra tuition to specialist drivers using Gran Turismo Sport.
The project - which aims to boost skill and safety - has seen officers clock an initial lap time at nearby Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix.
The four drivers then received specialist training using the game, including a new virtual reality mode.
Any areas for improvement such as under or oversteer, braking late and carrying too much speed in corners were identified, with GT Sport used to demonstrate correct techniques.
The officers then went out on a second lap and demonstrated markedly improved results - with one shaving 5.7 seconds of their initial lap time.
Between them, the four officers improved their times by 14 seconds after being taught using the video game, which hits the stores on Wednesday (18/10).
Shaun West, police spokesman, said: “There will never be a replacement for traditional training methods but we are always looking for innovative ways to supplement the learning of our officers and staff.
“If Gran Turismo can help to train world class racing drivers, then we were keen to explore whether it could offer anything to our officers and help expand the way we think about evolving and refreshing our training methods.
“It’s important to emphasise that exploring other methods such as this is not in any way seeking to substitute the rigorous training we already have in place but is simply another way to potentially bolster those existing programmes that our officers undertake.”
“Because road safety is of paramount importance in Lincolnshire we want to ensure our practices are as up-to-date and innovative as possible.
“Our F4tal 4 campaign focuses on the four main causes of injury and death on the roads: drink/drug driving, speeding, mobile phones and seatbelts.
“Anyone who chooses not to comply with the standards outlined in Fatal4, and is therefore putting themselves and other members of the public at risk, must do so within the realms of a game like GT Sport or on a racetrack like Silverstone.
“We don’t want that kind of driving on Lincolnshire’s roads.
“Also, we’re really keen to progress our immersive learning and exploring this type of training fits that brief well.
“What more could we do to ensure our officers are trained to the highest standards while also accommodating the needs of a workforce that works varied hours, in a number of locations, and has different needs and expectations of respective roles?
“Taking technology like we have trialed in GT Sport, and the software that is in devices like our Mobile Data Terminals which, for example, may allow us to offer immersive learning in areas such as Child Sexual Exploitation, means we are exploring different ways to enhance and augment our traditional training methods.
“Ensuring we utilise the skills and learning of our officers and staff means they can only offer a better service to the people of Lincolnshire.
“For all of these reasons, not to mention the fact that this also offered us a chance to do something different, we were really pleased to work with PlayStation on this experience and found the results of this really interesting.
“It’s something we will certainly take away and think about and see if we can use any elements of it in the future to add on to our established training methods.”