USPS trains new drivers using virtual reality

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) has reduced accidents 7% in New York since implementing a driver training program using virtual reality, according to Work Truck Online. The program, delivered by Virtual Driver Interactive (VDI), is called Virtual HD and has been used by USPS since 2015.

With the drivers trained coming from Brooklyn, NY, it resulted to less vehicular accidents in that area as compared to adjacent areas like Long Island and Queens. VDI said it is also training drivers in Tampa, Fl.

VDI quoted USPS’ Triboro district’s transportation manager, Andrea Maddicks, as saying the company needed an “innovative approach in reducing accidents in a cost-effective and engaging method.”

The training program includes exposing the trainees to a VDI desktop driving simulator. This is the centerpiece of the Virtual HD program. With the program deemed a success, Maddicks recommended the same program be implemented in the Suncoast District.

UPS has been using the program since April 2014 according to Automotive Fleet.

Simulated driving scenarios have become an effective training technique for VDI, an approach that the company has summed by saying, “we can put your drivers in dangerous situations without putting them in danger.” As VDI managed to duplicate actual life-threatening scenarios that has placed actual truck drivers in peril, a trainee’s reflexes get accustomed to reacting not because they are told what to do but because of harnessed aversion from danger.

The approach of making trainees act out the solutions to problems encountered on the road proved to be more effective as opposed to classroom training.

USPS recently purchased “2,000 fleet vehicles from Spartan Motors,” according to Trucking Info. Spartan will build the vehicles in Michigan for delivery over the next two years.

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