ATLANTA – A vital part of training for UPS drivers doesn’t take place on the road, but in a virtual world.
11Alive’s Commuter Dude took a drive through a virtual town to learn some of the lessons UPS drivers experience before they take to the road.
Part of the twenty-two days of training UPS drivers endure involves a seat in front of a computer screen, and oversized virtual reality goggles. They are projected into a virtual town that includes pedestrians, parked cars, and virtual vehicles sharing the road with them.
To pass the test, drivers must turn and acknowledge each potential hazard on their drive.Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes learned that at each intersection, UPS drivers look to the left, the right, then back to the left again.
“We always look back to the left a second time because that's the first lane of traffic we're going to enter,” says UPS’s John Bowers. “The left lane is most of the time where the impact is going to come from.”
The virtual training teaches drivers to acknowledge buildings at intersections with the idea that a car or pedestrian could appear from behind them.