VIDEO: UPS drives vehicle safety with virtual reality training

16 / 08 / 2017

UPS will start training student delivery drivers to spot and identify road hazards using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that vividly simulate the experience of driving on city streets while teaching a more memorable classroom lesson.

The US parcels and logistics giant will begin launching VR training in September at its nine UPS Integrad training facilities.

Staff training using VR is proving attractive in the freight industry. Cargo handler Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) has introduced VR training so new staff can gain experience before working in the challenging ramp environment.

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. “Virtual Reality offers a big technological leap in the realm of driver safety training,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer.

“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. But the company is exploring VR and even Augmented Reality (AR) for training tractor trailer drivers and performing other duties throughout the operation.