UPS has announced that it will start training student delivery drivers to spot and identify road hazards using virtual reality (VR) headsets that simulate the experience of driving on city streets.
The company will launch VR training at nine UPS Integrad training facilities in September. Students using the modules must verbally identify potential road hazards such as pedestrians, parked cars and oncoming traffic. UPS claims that the 360° view inside the headset is realistic down to the finest details.
Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer, UPS, said, “Virtual Reality offers a big technological leap in the realm of driver safety training. VR creates a hyper-realistic streetscape that will dazzle even the youngest of our drivers whose previous exposure to the technology was through video games.”
The VR training modules replace the touchscreen devices UPS Integrad facilities currently use to teach lessons on road hazards. For now, the VR training is only for those who drive package delivery trucks, however, the company is also exploring VR and augmented reality (AR) for training tractor trailer drivers.
UPS Integrad facilities teach students the fundamentals of driving delivery vehicles and delivering packages using a hands-on approach. Students even practice driving UPS delivery trucks in a replica outdoor city that has real streets and sidewalks and simulated delivery and pick-up sites. Nearly 9,000 drivers have graduated from UPS Integrad locations since 2007.
“This training is foundational, and VR brings it to life,” said Jeanne Lawrence, UPS Integrad expansion director. “VR complements real-world training in a way that deeply engages our employees in the UPS Integrad curriculum.”
August 16, 2017