We are super-excited to unveil New Zealand’s first driving simulator, designed to replicate the on-road experience for rental car drivers in New Zealand. It’s just one of the many ways in which GO Rentals is tackling road safety here in New Zealand, for Kiwis and international visitors alike.
Rental car simulator that could save lives
This latest piece of technology presents a proactive approach to lowering the number of crashes on New Zealand’s roads. Designed and developed by Dunedin business CoDrivr, the simulator is the brainchild of New Zealand Rally Championship driver Rhys Gardner and has been under development for the last three years.
We are delighted to be the first rental car company in New Zealand to roll out the simulator in one of our branches. Heralded by safety experts as a highly effective way of preparing drivers to handle new and unfamiliar road conditions, the simulator is perfect for experiencing New Zealand roads from the safety of our branch before hitting New Zealand’s roads to enjoy an amazing road trip in our beautiful country.
New Zealand is one of the most picturesque countries in the world and one of the best ways to explore the country is on a self-drive holiday. We welcome thousands of visitors from overseas every year as well as welcoming Kiwis holidaying in New Zealand to our branches.
Whilst we can talk about the potential hazards of driving on New Zealand’s roads, the ability to not only see the conditions for yourself but to actually experience them is something that is going to help to prepare all our rental car customers for their New Zealand adventure.
“Our roads have a reputation for being as challenging as they are scenic, and for many drivers the adjustment to different conditions, formats and topography around the country can be a formidable experience” – with nearly 20 years in the rental car industry, no one is more aware of the road conditions in New Zealand quite like our Managing Director, James Dalglish, who has seen it all during his time with GO Rentals.
Keeping drivers safe
New Zealand welcomed over 3.7 million visitors in 2017. Add this to a population of around 4.65 million and that’s a lot of people on New Zealand’s roads every year. Data from the Ministry of Transport reported that overseas drivers (those using an overseas licence) were involved in 24 (8%) fatal traffic crashes, 114 (5%) serious injury crashes and 506 (7%) minor injury crashes in 2016. In the same period, there was a total of 286 fatal crashes, 2.099 serious injury crashes and 7,583 minor injury crashes.
Whilst it’s important for us to reduce the number of crashes involving our overseas visitors, the simulator is there for Kiwis and overseas visitors alike. Driving in Auckland’s busy traffic is very different from driving the windy roads of the Central Otago or the mountain passes of Canterbury. The simulator is there to help drivers prepare for the different conditions you can expect on New Zealand’s roads, no matter where you come from.
Welcome addition to road safety initiatives
The rental car driving simulator is the latest addition to our road safety initiative, GO Drive Safe. As well as safety information in all our rental cars, you can take an online driving test before hitting the roads as well as watching our New Zealand Driving Tips video which is presented in a number of languages.
The new driving simulator will take our road safety preparations to the next level and is a move that has been applauded by the CEO of the Rental Vehicle Association, Barry Kidd, “The RVA welcomes the addition of GO Rentals simulator, which complements other driver safety initiatives the industry has in place to make overseas drivers aware of new driving conditions and rules.”
Mr Kidd also points out that, “…some of our visitors have never seen a stop sign before arriving in New Zealand. Missing a stop sign in a simulator might give you a bit of a fright, but the risk of injury is zero. Driving straight through a stop sign in real life can easily be fatal.”
Try out the rental car driving simulator in Queenstown
The new rental car driving simulator was launched in our Queenstown branch on August 2nd and we plan to roll out the simulator into all of our branches as we learn more about the benefits to driver education, the focus continues to be helping to prepare more and more of our drivers for the New Zealand roads.