UPS training drivers using Virtual Reality

UPS has just announced that it plans to begin using VR to train its student delivery drivers. This program, intending to make use of VR headsets such as the HTC Vive or other similar devices, plans to have drivers navigate a realistically constructed simulation of a city, verbally identifying road hazards like pedestrians or traffic in order to become accustomed to working in a UPS delivery vehicle.

The training will make use of VR headsets’ 360 degree view to create a lifelike version of driving a UPS delivery truck. Currently, implementation of this technique is set for September of 2017, planning to roll out at nine UPS Integrad facilities in the United States. This training method will replace touchscreen devices the facilities use currently with the hopes of creating a more realistic replacement for the older method.

VR training will only be available to package delivery drivers at present, though UPS is exploring possibilities for VR and AR (augmented reality) training for its tractor trailer drivers in the future.

With training to begin shortly, this puts UPS in league with several other employers who have taken the leap to VR training. Such companies include the likes of Ford, Walmart, and even NASA. The University of Louisville, as well, has begun using VR therapy in its psychiatry courses, too.

In an announcement from the UPS extension executive Jeanne Lawrence, she stated, “This preparation is foundational, and virtual reality breathes life into it. VR complements real world certifiable preparing in a way that profoundly connects with our workers.”

The first rounds of training will begin next month. Hopefully, the use of new technologies like virtual reality will be able to help employers like UPS train their employees more thoroughly and thoughtfully than ever before.