Advanced Technologies That Keep UPSers Safe

UPS drivers travel millions of miles every day, and our goal is for all of our drivers to make it home safely.
Jan 22, 2019 11:55 AM ET
Campaign: Empowered People
Today, technology investments are making the safety and efficiency of our drivers even more effective, helping us create a work environment that better protects our employees and adapts to a changing business environment.   The UPS Integrad™ training centers, among our most innovative training experiences, provide drivers with experiential training modeled on the philosophy of “teach me, show me, let me.” The program uses a mixture of 3-D computer simulations, webcast learning modules, and traditional classroom instruction to complement hands-on safety, delivery, and customer service training in a controlled environment. UPS Integrad curriculum has raised the bar on training, delivering significant improvements in safety, customer experience, and retention compared to traditional programs.   In 2017, we took our innovation to the next level by incorporating virtual reality (VR) into the UPS Integrad experience. At nine facilities across the U.S., VR is allowing participants to practice defensive driving techniques by moving their eyes through the driving scene to recognize priority elements and to spot hazards they may encounter as they drive. Wearing VR headsets with 360-degree visuals, trainees must verbally identify road hazards. The headsets are an upgrade from touchscreen devices used in the past. While VR is currently being used only for training package car drivers, we’re exploring virtual and augmented reality tools for performing other duties throughout our operations.   It’s not just our drivers who are becoming more knowledgeable; our vehicles are becoming smarter — and safer — too. In 2017, we upgraded more than 5,700 of our existing Class 8 tractors with advanced collision mitigation technology, which alerts drivers to moving and stationary objects in front of the tractor and moving objects surrounding the vehicle. The technology includes alerts for blind spots and lane departures, electronic stability control, and forward collision warning with automatic brake application. This investment brings more than 60 percent of our Class 8 tractor fleet, or 11,000 vehicles, to the leading edge of safety technology.   Gaining Insight Into Safety Trends We are also applying technology to engrain safety at the enterprise level. For example, the International Incident Reporting Tool is a web-based reporting tool for a variety of incidents which replaces manual processes. The tool provides greater visibility into daily global trends, makes it easier for UPS to perform data analysis and identify risks, and increases our data security and privacy regulatory compliance. The tool has been fully implemented in the Americas and European regions.   The Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) web portal, likewise, allows us to effectively manage safety and regulatory compliance across the domestic fleet. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the lead U.S. federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial vehicles, and the CSA portal provides a daily online feed of FMCSA violations from the organization’s database. It also tracks FMCSA scores for each business unit to ensure they are well below agency limits and allows UPS to track at-risk drivers and operations. The online portal replaces manual record downloads and time-consuming research processes, making it easier for us to stay safe and compliant. Use of the CSA portal began with a beta test in 2017 and will expand to all UPS Freight operations in 2018.   Creating an injury-free workplace requires the right training, technology, and data, all working in tandem to reduce the likelihood of injuries and crashes. By using the best available technology to reduce risk at every step, we’re helping more people get home safely to their families.   This story is from the 2017 UPS Sustainability Progress Report: On the Leading Edge. Visit to see the full Report, GRI Content Index, and other stories of innovation.