Behind the Wheel on the Web 3D: Virtual Training for Traffic


German-based TUEV NORD Group develops a virtual traffic training course in

Second Life with BUERO X Media Lab from Hamburg


Hamburg Sept 21, 2009


Passed the test! For nine days some 2000 future drivers and other young people tested a learning installation for increased traffic safety at TUEV NORD’s stand at IdeenExpo 2009 in Hanover, Germany. Eleven traffic situations were converted into interactive tasks and presented as components of the “Virtual Training for Traffic” exhibit – simultaneously at the innovations fair in Hanover and on the 3D platform Second Life.


TUEV NORD Group, active in more than 70 countries around the world, has been researching and developing Web 3D applications in cooperation with BUERO X Media Lab for almost two years now. “Training for Traffic” is the first Second Life installation to be presented to a large real life audience.




Buses pulling over, red lights, traffic circles, and no-passing zones – all these traffic situations appear in the virtual 3D environment. “This offers a glimpse into the digitally-supported future of learning,” remarks director Hanno Tietgens of BUERO X, whose team conceived the installation in collaboration with the experts at TUEV NORD. “Learners sit at the wheel in the form of their digital avatars, like in a computer game. But serious learning effects can be observed regarding traffic rules, action taken, sensitivity to dangerous situations, and other responses.”


When the digital vehicle encounters a simulated pedestrian in a crosswalk, the driver must take great care: in case of contact, the drive is over immediately. The vehicle is automatically sent back to start, and the test person ejected from the driver’s seat.


But unlike real life, the simulation always allows another chance to take the course and finish it without mistakes. Teachers refer to the effects of immersive education, as the test person is not cramming abstract theory but rather is actively engaged in doing something; he feels as if he is in the middle of events, making it easier to remember what has been learned.




Expertise in many different fields is needed to produce such an installation. For the sophisticated programming of virtual “Training for Traffic”, BUERO X had support from their colleagues at Virtyou, Berlin; TUEV NORD staff from Essen, Hamburg and Hanover were also involved. It took the dispersed team only one meeting in real life to get things started. All other coordination work and meetings took place on the internet – within Second Life. “A novel and very efficient way for a team to work together,” says Tietgens, “involving practically no travel time or costs.”


Results were well received by the young audience in Hanover. “The 3D course was a main attraction here at the exhibition. Kids were standing in line to get a chance to drive,” reports trainee Mario Grauer. Together with others, he supervised TUEV NORD Group’s stand at the Expo, with eight insightful exhibits on mobility, environment and health by this expanding technology service provider.




“Three-dimensional applications for training or conferencing will vastly extend the potential of the internet,” says Frank Boerger, director of Client Management and head of the Web 3D project at TUEV NORD. “Now several users can meet simultaneously at the same virtual location, watch and handle the same material in real-time and communicate with tutors and colleagues via voice chat, a multi-user VoIP application. Within the first year, this conferencing technology has already covered our initial costs through its use in training staff members abroad.”


Further 3D projects are also in planning. “More and more ideas keep coming in,” Frank Boerger notes, “from employees in Germany and from our international organisation”.




The 3D installation “Training for Traffic” is currently accessible through pre-registration only. Interested parties are invited to contact us via E-Mail at ht@buerox.de. TUEV NORD Group’s 3D presence can be found on the Second Life virtual world map under the name of “TUV NORD”, http://slurl.com/secondlife/TUV%20Nord/50/223/33.


About BUERO X Media Lab


BUERO X has been helping to shape the German media landscape since 1990, first as consultants, designers and advertising agency for large publishing firms such as Hoffmann und Campe, Jahreszeiten Verlag and Gruner + Jahr, then as a long-time partner for the leading public broadcaster ARD Das Erste, and finally in the field of corporate communications for financial service providers such as international Munich Re Group and institutions such as the German Chambers of Commerce. The Media Lab was founded in the summer of 2006 as the agency’s research arm. Developments at the vanguard of media convergence and immersive education are explored and applied in cooperation with private enterprises, public organizations and universities. Project partners include TUEV NORD Group (since fall 2007), the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (since March 2007), University of Hamburg, HAW GameCityLab, Macromedia University for Media and Communication, and others.


About the TUEV NORD Group


With over 8,400 employees, including more than 6,600 with a technical and scientific background, the TUEV NORD Group (www.tuev-nord.de) is one of the largest technical service providers in Germany. It also operates in over 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Group owes its leading market position to its technical competence and a broad range of advisory, service, and testing services in the mobility, industry services, international, raw materials, education, and human resource fields. Its motto is “Making our world safer."


Note to editors:

Second Life® and Linden Lab® are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.


Contact information:


Hanno Tietgens 

BUERO X Media Lab

Managing Director


c/o Buero X Werbung GmbH

Moenckebergstrasse 10, 20095 Hamburg, Germany

Handelsregister Hamburg HRB 49057


E-Mail ht@buerox.de


Photos, Screenshots and further information

are ready for downloading at http://buerox.3dvisio.de/tuev-nord.