Virtual Reality Is the New Reality for Truck Driver Training

New motorists reporting to operate in a United Parcel Service instruction center at Atlanta following month will strap to a virtual reality headset as part of the fundamental security exercises.

The 360-level street spectacle projected inside the cans can help drivers understand UPS’ required technique of appearing left, right and then left again before proceeding through an intersection. The virtual roadway can also teach drivers how to identify and prevent pedestrians and possible dangers.

Package delivery services such as UPS and other trucking companies are revamping driver instruction to appeal to a generation which grew up playing with video and internet games. Virtual fact is their most recent tool.

Motor carriers have been more likely to make training more relevant to young job seekers and also to better prepare new drivers for the rigors of the highway. VR combines trucking simulators and augmented reality systems which carriers have started to embrace for driver instruction.

Because digital-based technology can catch user information, companies may finally use them to monitor how successful the applications are contrasted with previous training approaches for becoming truckers prepared for the street.

“Without a doubt, this is the future of driver training,” stated Dominic , also an ex-race automobile driver and cofounder of both VR Motion Corp. , a Hillsboro, Ore. , startup developing VR-based driver instruction for auto-related businesses)

VR Training example

Virtual fact driver instruction. (Photo: VR Motion)

Tech-established driving training like VR can assist carriers fight a persistent driver deficit by enlarging the pool of applicants for trucker job openings. Companies may be more inclined to employ new graduates of truck driver training colleges if simulations can help researchers enhance their abilities, stated Lucas Mowrey, security manager at Grand Island Express, a 140-truck fridge carrier located in Grand Island, Neb.

Like several motor carriers, Grand Island Express includes rigorous hiring standards, stated Mowrey, who also began with a simulation to train entry-level drivers fourteen days ago.

“With this, we’re kicking around the idea of redoing those standards to assume a little more hiring risk and using the simulator before they get into a truck to improve on those areas,” he also explained.

Innovations for example VR may be utilized for therapeutic instruction, for instance, leading a motorist through activities that resulted in an accident so that they could determine how to prevent a similar scenario in the potential, Mowrey said.

UPS to Train 4,000 Drivers to VR by End of 2018

UPS is incorporating VR to the week-long standard training class that all new bundle delivery van drivers attend prior to setting foot in a true truck. By overdue September, UPS hopes to get VR training equipment offered at a training center in Atlanta plus a centre going to start in Florida. The firm plans to get VR equipment installed in all eight of its coaching facilities by the finish of the season, such as at centers in Massachusetts, Maryland, Tennessee, Illinois, Arizona, Oregon and California.

UPS expects putting 4,000 brand new bundle delivery van drivers via VR simulators by the finish of 2018. is roughly 6 percent of its present 65,000-individual delivery driver work force. The firm also uses tractor-trailer drivers however is not planning VR coaching for them in this moment, based on Kyle Peterson, a UPS spokesperson.

UPS’ VR training simulations were made through an eight-person group of information technology and operations personnel that began working in overdue 2016. Although the firm is currently introducing the VR training regime on the Vive cans by electronics manufacturer HTC, the simulation has been made to be hardware agnostic. Peterson fell to state how much UPS spent on hardware or growing the applications.


UPS virtual reality driver instruction using a Vive headset. (Photo: UPS)

The brand new system replaces touchscreen-based security training modules which UPS has employed since 2007.

Damian Toledo, an up-and-coming manager and driver coach at UPS’ Atlanta centre, has analyzed the VR program and considers drivers may like it since it looks like video games. “They’ll engage more, and that will make them a better driver and make us a safer organization,” Toledo stated.

UPS also intends to collect and examine information from the apparatus to observe how the technician improves training, stated Jon Bowers, a website supervisor at the Atlanta centre. UPS is considering utilizing VR and augmented reality technologies in different facets of its operations, though Peterson failed to be more specific.

Other carriers possess VR jobs in the functions but are not prepared to talk about what they are doing. For instance, Ryder System Inc. , the truck leasing, fleet management and distribution chain operator, is “actively engaged with the use of VR technology,” but company spokeswoman Jennifer Hanlon diminished to discuss particulars.

Lower Prices Could Help VR Spread

Price reductions for VR gear can promote more carriers and delivery solutions to trace in UPS’ footsteps. Earlier this past week, HTC cut the cost of its own cans by $200, to $599. The announcement follows a similar cost cut for cans out of Oculus Rift, the VR startup Facebook bought for $2 billion in 2014.

VR Motion produces software that connects a headset to the movement platform to make a 360-level view in a manner that produces muscle memory also makes it less probable that consumers will get ill, Dobson stated. The firm started out earning VR for race car drivers such as Dobson, who made seven starts in the Indianapolis 500 and also drove in the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A startup, VR Motion is currently seeking to market VR driving coaching technologies for law enforcement, military and trucking, Dobson stated.

VR Motion’s gear is costly, running into the tens of thousands of dollars for setup, setup and licensing prices. But Dobson considers VR systems ultimately will prove cost effective.


Virtual fact driver instruction module. (Photo: Virage Simulations)

“We have surveys from law enforcement training officers who’ve said without a doubt this is a tool we need because it’ll make better drivers,” he also explained.

VR is not the just alternative for simulating driving a big rig. Some carriers have chosen for additional kinds of training since VR nevertheless gives some individuals motion illness, despite advancements in the newest creation of equipment. is why Grand Island purchased a noodle out of Virage Simulation Inc. , in Montreal, such as a truck chair, shifter, steering wheel, pedals, touchscreen dashboards and three 55-inch displays that stand in for a truck windshield and left and right windows.

“I think this is much more adaptable than throwing someone into VR that’s never been into anything like that,” Mowrey stated, particularly for “older drivers who would be using the machine to refresh their skills.”
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