Virtual reality helping train safe drivers

Technology creates ultra-realistic driving experience for drivers.
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UPS is using virtual reality (VR) to revolutionize the way driver training is done.

A lot of people associate VR with video games, but the technology is being used more and more for professional purposes, including providing UPS students with realistic driving experiences before operating an actual package car.

Students practice their driving skills and demonstrate their ability to properly identify and handle hazards on the road in a simulated experience.

“The driver simulation captures everything you want drivers to experience before they get out on the road,” said Deb Pockette, UPS Integrad project manager. “Any time we can train our drivers, particularly our new drivers, in realistic conditions makes for safer drivers.”

Students are challenged with typical road hazards, such as pedestrians, parked cars and oncoming traffic, to ensure they’re ready to meet those challenges on the road.

UPS recognizes technology is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge and a 21st century workplace. The company recently created a mobile training academy which provides all the training concepts taught in UPS brick-and-mortar driver training facilities into two 53-foot-long mobile trailers.

The mobile training academy allows UPS to bring the classroom to students including the use of virtual reality and augmented reality kiosks. Simulation driver technology will continue to roll out across all UPS Integrad training facilities in the near future.

The use of VR compliments the newest safety technology in vehicles including advanced collision mitigation and blind spot and lane departure assistance, electronic stability control, and forward collision warning with automatic brake application.

Ultimately, this innovative technology is about one thing – improving safety for UPS employees and its customers.

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