UPS adds VR to driver training to simulate road conditions, hazards

UPS is moving some of its driver training from touchscreens to virtual reality headsets.

United Parcel Service (UPS) said it will train student delivery drivers with virtual reality headsets to simulate city driving conditions.

These headsets, designed to help drivers spot road hazards, will be deployed for training in September at nine Integrad facilities. Integrad refers to next-generation training facilities, which specialize in 3D simulations and webcasts along with traditional classroom instruction.

Integrad was deployed in collaboration with MIT and Virginia Tech and even features a replica outdoor city. UPS has eight Integrad centers in the US with plans to open another as well as two in Europe.

UPS' technology team chose to create training modules using HTC Vive and other headsets. Students have to verbally identify road hazards in a 360-degree display.

Here's a look at what a driver-in-training would see:

ups-vr-integrad.png

VR will replace touchscreen devices used at Integrad to teach road hazards. VR training will be available to package delivery drivers, but UPS said it plans to expand use cases to tractor trailer workers.

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