In what schools of the future may look like, UPS will begin training student delivery drivers using virtual reality headsets starting in September at nine of its teaching facilities. Those in training will wear headsets like the HTC Vive that will show a simulation of the road and hazards. The simulations were created in-house and the training modules will test students in identifying pedestrians, parked cars, and oncoming traffic.
The VR experience students will use are realistic streetscapes and part of a 360-degree world. “This training is foundational, and virtual reality brings it to life,” said Jeanne Lawrence, expansion director at UPS. “VR complements real-world training in a way that deeply engages our employees.”
The program is similar to Walmart’s VR training announced back in June, where employees use an Oculus Rift headset and enter different real-world scenarios. Using VR for training is becoming increasingly popular and has been used in many fields including health and medical industries, such as surgery simulations.
UPS says the VR headsets will replace touchscreen devices that are currently used. The training program will also only launch for preparing employees who will drive package-delivery trucks. In the future, UPS says it plans on using more VR and AR for other training purposes.