The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced plans to test autonomous mail trucks.
The two-week test will be done in partnership with a company called TuSimple that specialises in self-driving trucks.
It will involve a series of self-driving Navistar trucks that will be driving for 22 hours each, which includes overnight driving.
The trucks will be kitted with TuSimple’s self-driving technology that incorporates cameras and sensors to provide the data for the trial.
TuSimple will be shipping the mail for USPS as part of this test on five round trips totalling 1000 miles between distribution centres located in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas. A safety driver will be behind the wheel during the test who will be joined by an engineer to monitor the trial and ensure it is carried out safely.
TuSimple’s founder and president, Dr. Xiaodi Hou, said, “It is exciting to think that before long, many people will ride in a robo-taxi, and that their mail and packages may be carried in a self-driving truck. 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 commercialisation progress.”