US postal service tests mail delivery using driverless trucks

Autonomous trucks are carrying mail on five roundtrips between Phoenix and Dallas as part of a two-week pilot program for the U.S. Postal Service.

    2019/05/24

NSFW    PHOENIX — The U.S. Postal Service has started testing self-driving trucks to transport mail across three states.

According to Reuters, the USPS began a two-week pilot program using autonomous trucks from startup company TuSimple to carry the mail on five roundtrips between the distribution centers in Phoenix and Dallas.

Each one-way trip through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas is over 1,600 kilometers, which will take 22 hours and include overnight driving.

The Verge reports that TuSimple trucks are equipped with nine cameras and two LIDAR sensors to help its vision-based system detect vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles up to 1,000 meters away.

According to a TuSimple press release, the autonomous trucks have a driver and safety engineer on board for the duration of the testing period.

USA Today reports that the pilot can have huge benefits for the Postal Service. It will also help validate TuSimple's system and speed up tech development and commercialization.
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