January 18, 2010: UPS will start field-testing its latest DIAD later this year. The DIAD V is about half the size and weight of the current version. Brown has partnered with Honeywell to add new bells and whistles, some small and some that may dramatically change life at UPS—especially when combined with other new technology like telematics.
DIAD V will include a color, auto-focus, flash camera to use for proof-of-delivery. (Hopefully, it will also help drivers document when supervisors are handling packages and doing our work!)
The new DIAD also has a color display and much more memory. UPS says it will be able to use DIAD to download training videos to all drivers simultaneously. More ominously the company says future applications will include “maps” and “navigation.”
Teamsters need to be aware. Some aspects of new technology make our jobs easier. But management also has another agenda. They want to dumb down our jobs to try exert more control over drivers and make us more replaceable.
Telematics technology lets management track where we’re driving. Our DIADS may soon tell us where to drive.
The best protection for UPS drivers has always been to follow the methods and work at a safe and even pace. That will become even more necessary as management rolls out new technology.