It seems pretty crazy to put a little kid behind the wheel of a giant truck and let him or her drive it without any training.
But that’s what Volvo and the Greensboro Children’s Museum are doing. On Friday, Jan. 17 at 9:30 a.m., Volvo is unveiling it’s new “Volvo Truck Simulator” at the popular downtown kid’s museum.
The simulator will be the newest indoor exhibit for the Children’s Museum and it will undoubtedly be one of the most used exhibits – since most kids would love the chance to pilot a big rig down the highway or through city streets.
According to press release, the Volvo Truck Simulator will “take children’s imaginations to new levels as visitors can experience the realism of driving a Volvo truck.”
The simulator will have an adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel from an actual Volvo truck model, plus a dashboard, pedals, brakes and gears – and the simulator’s screen will give children a realistic view of what it’s like on the road. The visuals throughout the simulator reproduce city and highway driving to highlight different driving conditions. Weather conditions will vary.
Also, if the kids crash the truck, nobody gets hurt – unlike the highly likely outcome if someone just irresponsibly handed a kid the keys to a real giant truck and said, “Take it for a spin.”
Volvo Group North America, which has several thousand employees in the Greensboro area, has worked closely with the museum in the past. The new simulator will be an extension of the Big Rig Truck Exhibit, which the Volvo Group sponsored and opened at the Children’s Museum in July 2012. The current big rig exhibit features a 13-foot-high Volvo sleeper cab with a driver’s seat.
Marian King, the chief executive officer of the Children’s Museum, said the museum is delighted to be getting the new attraction.
“We are so grateful for the Volvo Group’s continued partnership with the Museum,” she said. “Children have loved seeing life-sized trucks in the Museum and it makes for an authentic experience during their visit. With the new truck simulator, children will practice hand-eye coordination as they try steering in all types of weather and times of the day. They’ll also gain awareness of large vehicles and road safety as they navigate having others on the road while they drive.”
Mary Beth Halprin, vice president of public relations and corporate affairs for Volvo Group North America, said “Fueling children’s imaginations with rich experiences is an important factor in their development” – making clever use of the word “fuel.”
Volvo didn’t say this but the exhibit might also encourage kids to go into the truck driving profession when they grow up.
The unveiling of the Volvo Truck Simulator is open to the public and is included with admission to the Museum.
Also, on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum will celebrate its new exhibit during “Volvo Safety Day.” Guests can enjoy the new Volvo Truck Simulator and also participate in activities including the Crumley Roberts’ Kids Zone, which will feature a free bicycle helmet-fitting as well as hands-only CPR training. Volvo Safety Day is also open to the public and included with admission.
The Greensboro Children’s Museum is located at 220 N. Church St. in downtown Greensboro.