The FINANCIAL -- UPS announced the opening of its ninth U.S. UPS Integrad driver training facility in Lake Mary, FL. Since the first UPS Integrad site opened in Landover, Md., in 2007, the company has seen dramatic improvements in safety, production and service indices, as well as a reduction in turnover.
The curriculum in the one-week course teaches drivers through “experiential learning” that emphasizes hands-on, “real life” scenarios, now enhanced by the VR simulations. Prior to UPS Integrad training, the majority of initial driver training was classroom- and lecture-based. Now, drivers practice delivery methods in a realistic setting on an outside course designed to mimic a small town called, “Clarkville USA.” Arrayed with small houses, street signs and even a dog bowl to alert drivers of the presence of a dog, Clarkville provides realism in a controlled environment.
In addition to the hands on training that is key to the Integrad curriculum, UPS has added virtual reality driving simulations. The use of virtual reality technology allows students to drive without leaving the building. The intent of the simulations are to help students identify potential hazards by visualizing other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs and signals, the basis of what a driver needs to drive defensively, according to UPS.
A significant portion of training at UPS Integrad is focused on safe driving, and is designed to enhance the company’s already strong road safety accomplishments. UPS currently employs more than 9,349 “Circle of Honor” drivers who have driven 25 years or more without an accident. “The sophisticated training at UPS Integrad and our focus on adaptive learning styles will guarantee a new generation of Circle of Honor drivers,” said UPS Integrad Expansion Director Jeanne Lawrence.
The Lake Mary site joins existing facilities in West Boylston, MA, Atlanta, McKinney, Texas and Menlo Park, Calif. suburban Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and Landover, Md. UPS also has locations in Cologne, Germany and Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom.