UPS has announced the expansion of its driver training to include virtual reality (VR) headsets at its UPS Integrad training facilities in Cologne, Germany, and Burton upon Trent, UK. The VR headsets simulate the experience of driving on German and UK city streets while teaching a more memorable classroom lesson.
“Virtual reality offers a technological leap in the realm of driver safety training,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer. “VR creates a realistic streetscape that will impress even the youngest of our drivers, whose previous exposure to the technology may have been through video games.”
IT experts at UPS created the VR training modules that users see and hear inside VR headsets. Students using the modules must verbally identify potential road hazards such as pedestrians, parked cars and oncoming traffic. The 360° view inside the headset is realistic down to fine details.
“The headsets for UPS drivers in Cologne and Burton upon Trent use images of local streets to identify typical local road hazards,” said Thomas Scholz, manager of UPS Integrad in Cologne.
The VR training modules replace the touchscreen devices UPS Integrad facilities currently use. For now, the VR training is used for those who drive package delivery trucks, but the company is exploring VR and even augmented reality (AR) for training tractor trailer drivers and other operations employees.