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.

UPS is using VR headsets to train delivery truck drivers UPS wants to start training its student delivery drivers to identify road hazards using VR headsets. ** IT experts at UPS created "VR training modules" for VR headsets like the HTC Vive. ** The headsets will simulate the experience of driving in a city while delivering a memorable lesson. ** Students using the modules must verbally identify road hazards such as pedestrians and parked cars. ** The 360-degree view inside the headset is realistic down to the finest details, UPS said. ** UPS plans to launch VR training in September 2017 at its nine UPS Integrad facilities in the US. ** The VR training modules will replace the touchscreen devices UPS Integrad facilities currently use. ** UPS currently operates eight UPS Integrad facilities in the US and two others in Europe. ** These facilities teach students the fundamentals of driving delivery vehicles and delivering packages. ** But the company is exploring VR and even AR for training tractor trailer drivers.

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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