UPS Enhances Driver Safety Training With Virtual Reality

DE 06/06/19

London and Neuss

  • VR experience to deploy at UPS Integrad® driver training facilities in the United Kingdom and Germany
  • Proprietary VR content created in-house
  • New technology supports company’s road safety culture

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced the expansion of its driver training to include Virtual Reality (VR) headsets at its UPS Integrad locations in the United Kingdom and Germany. The VR headsets vividly simulate the experience of driving on German and UK city streets while teaching a more memorable classroom lesson.

The company is launching VR training at its two European training facilities in Cologne, Germany, and Burton-Upon-Trent, UK. The adoption of VR for driver safety training reflects UPS’s commitment to using the latest technology to protect its drivers and the people in the communities they serve.

“Virtual Reality offers a technological leap in the realm of driver safety training,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer. “VR creates a realistic streetscape that will impress even the youngest of our drivers, whose previous exposure to the technology may have been through video games.”

IT experts at UPS created the VR training modules that users see and hear inside VR headsets. 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 fine details. “The headsets for UPS drivers in Cologne and Burton-Upon-Trent use images of local streets to identify typical local road hazards,” said Thomas Scholz, manager of UPS Integrad in Cologne.

The VR training modules replace the touchscreen devices UPS Integrad facilities currently use. For now, the VR training is used for those who drive package delivery trucks, but the company is exploring VR and even Augmented Reality (AR) for training tractor trailer drivers and other operations employees.

UPS currently operates 10 UPS Integrad facilities in the United States and two in Europe.

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 town called ‘Neustadt’ or ‘Newtown’, which has real streets and sidewalks and simulated delivery and pickup sites.

UPS Integrad and its use of the latest technology supports the company’s safety culture. UPS has more than 10,364 drivers in its Circle of Honor, an elite group of drivers who have not had an avoidable accident in at least 25 years.

The Cologne Integrad facility opened in 2016, and the Burton-Upon-Trent facility opened in 2017. The training – based on the philosophy “Teach me. Show me. Let me.” – occurs before students begin more intensive on-road training. Nearly 9,000 drivers have graduated from UPS Integrad locations since 2007. 

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Forbes Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at ups.com/sustainabilitynewsletter. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter. To ship with UPS, visit ups.com/ship.

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