Automotive

US Postal Service starts testing self-driving mail trucks

US Postal Service starts testi...
TuSimple's self-driving trucks will be used as part of a two-week trial for the US Postal Service
TuSimple's self-driving trucks will be used as part of a two-week trial for the US Postal Service
View 3 Images
TuSimple's self-driving trucks will be used as part of a two-week trial for the US Postal Service
1/3
TuSimple's self-driving trucks will be used as part of a two-week trial for the US Postal Service
The US Postal Service (USPS) and its mail delivery operations are set to gain a helping hand courtesy of self-driving startup TuSimple
2/3
The US Postal Service (USPS) and its mail delivery operations are set to gain a helping hand courtesy of self-driving startup TuSimple
Kicking off today, the pilot will see TuSimple's self-driving trucks used to haul mail between the US Postal Service's distribution centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas
3/3
Kicking off today, the pilot will see TuSimple's self-driving trucks used to haul mail between the US Postal Service's distribution centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas

The US Postal Service (USPS) and its mail delivery operations are set to gain a helping hand courtesy of self-driving startup TuSimple, with the agency enlisting the company's autonomous trucks for a two-week trial.

Kicking off today, the pilot will see TuSimple's self-driving trucks used to haul mail between USPS's distribution centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas. This route, which stretches over more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) and crosses state lines will be covered five times as round trips, with TuSimple's trucks hauling USPS trailers along for the ride.

Like others in the business of delivering goods, such as UPS and DHL, the USPS is exploring how autonomous vehicles can streamline its operations, cut down on fuel costs and pollution, as well as improve safety. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to long-haul routes with short turnaround times, which require a lot of human drivers.

Kicking off today, the pilot will see TuSimple's self-driving trucks used to haul mail between the US Postal Service's distribution centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas
Kicking off today, the pilot will see TuSimple's self-driving trucks used to haul mail between the US Postal Service's distribution centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas

And the agreement is significant for TuSimple, too, which has until now been validating its autonomous technologies with shorter trips for customers in Arizona. Human operators are onboard throughout to gather data and ensure safety, and the same goes for the new two-week trial with USPS as its expands its operations into Texas.

"It is exciting to think that before many people will ride in a robo-taxi, their mail and packages may be carried in a self-driving truck," said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, TuSimple. "Performing for the USPS on this pilot in this particular commercial corridor gives us specific use cases to help us validate our system, and expedite the technological development and commercialization progress."

Source: TuSimple via PR Newswire

2 comments
guzmanchinky
The days of the truck driver, train engineer, ship captain and uber/taxi driver are quickly coming to an end. Probably pilot someday too, or at least the two pilot cockpit...
TimNZ
Well guzmanchinky, modern commercial airliners have had autopilot for a very long time and the airplanes can land themselves. Search for CAT III landing. The airplanes have this but we still have pilots. I have worked in mine sites with autonomous trucks and that is a good thing for safety, autonomous car and trucks on public roads will bring huge safety improvements. There will be role loss but little in the way of employment loss as truck drivers can be reskilled in load and truck design/repair. But in the 70s they were saying that cumputers were going to make us unemployed and we were going be paperless. I think the opposite has happened. It will be the same for the autonomous future.