UPS to introduce virtual reality training

Atlanta-based company, UPS, will launch Virtual Reality (VR) owner-driver training at nine UPS Integrad training facilities in the US this September.

IT experts at UPS created the VR training modules that users see and hear inside VR headsets like the HTC Vive. Students using the modules must verbally identify potential road hazards such as pedestrians, parked cars and oncoming traffic. The 360-degree view inside the headset is realistic down to the finest details, according to UPS.

“Virtual Reality offers a big technological leap in the realm of driver safety training,” said UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer, Juan Perez.

“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 will replace the touchscreen devices UPS Integrad facilities currently use to teach lessons on road hazards. This VR training is intended for those who drive package delivery trucks however the company is reportedly exploring VR Augmented Reality (AR) for training semi-trailer drivers.

UPS currently operates eight UPS Integrad facilities in the United States and two others in Europe. Another US facility is set to open this year, bringing the total to nine in the United States.

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 pickup sites.

“This training is foundational, and Virtual Reality brings it to life,” said UPS Integrad Expansion Director, Jeanne Lawrence. “VR complements real-world training in a way that deeply engages our employees in the UPS Integrad curriculum.”

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