SimDrive, which has been designed around international concepts and which has seen enormous success in countries like Germany and the Netherlands, uses the same technology found in aircraft simulators to teach learner drivers how to drive, from the most basic clutch and accelerator control to ‘real’ driving scenarios which include traffic and pedestrians. The mobile unit currently travels between schools in Johannesburg, with plans for expansion in the future.

Chevrolet Spark SIM Drive 1
Keen pilot and creator of the SimDrive initiative in South Africa, Anton Tromp says SimDrive is finding favour with more and more schools in South Africa as the concept grows in popularity. “SimDrive is a unique concept whereby driving students are placed in a realistic car environment, complete with a dashboard, seatbelt, handbrake, gear lever and peripheral controls as they would find them in a real car. The system then allows the students to ‘drive’ the virtual car with a virtual driving instructor built in – with audible warnings for mistakes such as over-revving the engine or driving too quickly. Customised for South Africa and the K53 driving test, SimDrive is the answer for budding new drivers.
Chevrolet Spark SIM Drive 2
“Our aim is to produce highly competent new drivers who practise safe driving techniques, which improves road safety and ultimately saves lives in South Africa,” concludes Tromp.

Chevy is the first step onto real roads
Chevrolet Brand Manager, Tim Hendon, says: “The locally-built Chevrolet Spark is the perfect car to pair with the SimDrive initiative as it is not only often the car of choice for first time drivers once they pass their licenses, but being compact and light on its feet makes the task of learning to drive in the real world that much easier.
Chevrolet Spark SIM Drive 4
Chevrolet recognises the value in SimDrive and with the demand from students to be able to progress from virtual driving lessons directly into a real car with an instructor, the sponsorship came naturally.”

Spark is the perfect car for new drivers
The Chevrolet Spark is built in Port Elizabeth and is available in five derivatives – from the business-oriented 1.2 Pronto panel van to the sporty Spark 1.2 LT. The Spark 1.2 Campus has been tailored specifically to suit student needs, featuring important items like ABS and EBD, two airbags, air conditioning and power steering – but at an exceptionally pocket-friendly price of R106 600.

 Chevrolet Spark SIM Drive 5



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