UPS deploys high-tech mobile computer to drivers

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UPS on Wednesday, Feb. 29, announced it has begun to equip its drivers around the world with a new-generation handheld computer designed to support the business world’s demands for continuous information and total mobility. The smaller, lighter computer leverages Gobi radio technology to allow instant switching of cellular carriers if one carrier’s signal is lost, thus ensuring the device stays connected to the UPS network.

The device includes a color camera to enhance proof-of-delivery information. And when it’s not in use for operations, the computer can be used to provide training videos to 90,000 drivers simultaneously.

“What began 20 years ago as a bulky brown box with a monochrome screen has grown into a sleek lightweight mobile device that allows UPS to be even more reliable for customers in 220 countries,” says Dave Barnes, chief information officer. “This computer accelerates the transfer of customer tracking data and makes it possible for UPS customers to track almost 16 million deliveries worldwide each day. Increasingly, the technology that powers logistics is mobile. Being competitive means staying connected anytime, anywhere.”

The new computer, known as the fifth-generation Delivery Information Acquisition Device or DIAD V, is about half the size and weight of the DIAD IV and is more durable and holds more data. Developed with Honeywell International, the DIAD V weighs 19 ounces and has a clearer and larger display.

Approved for operation in more than 100 countries, UPS began to deploy the DIAD V in the United States last September. When worldwide deployment is complete in 2013, about 100,000 units will be in use.