The new on-road integrated optimization and navigation program, called Orion, uses an algorithm with over 1,00 pages of code to create the best routes for drivers. UPS tested Orion in 2008 and will officially launch the service on Wednesday. The company expects to have 10,000 of its 55,000 drivers using the system by the end of 2013. It plans to have all of its drivers using Orion by 2017. The company first looked into using algorithms to create routes in 2000, but it didn’t start the Orion project until 2003. UPS installed GPS devices in all of its vehicles and it estimates that this has cut around 100 million minutes of engine idling. UPS moved the project further when it developed its own mapping system, which has over 250 million delivery point and is updated regularly. If Orion can eliminate a mile from every driver’s route a day then it could save UPS up to $50 million a year, reports The Wall Street Journal.
UPS plans to hire 55,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season.