U.S. Postal Service Begins Testing Self-Driving Trucks for Delivery

USPS trucks
Justin Sullivan/Getty
TOM CICCOTTA

The United States Postal Service has begun tests on a self-driving delivery truck on a route between Phoenix and Dallas.

According to a report from Reuters, the United States Postal Service is doing its first tests with autonomous vehicle technology. A San Diego startup called TuSimple is loaning its self-driving trucks to the United States Postal Service for test drives between Phoenix and Dallas.

A driver will sit in the vehicle behind the wheel for safety purposes. The safety driver is there to intervene if the self-driving technology fails.

USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum told the press that this marks the first time that the postal service has experimented with autonomous driving technology. “The work with TuSimple is our first initiative in autonomous long-haul transportation,” Frum said. “We are conducting research and testing as part of our efforts to operate a future class of vehicles which will incorporate new technology.”

 TuSimple Chief Product Officer Chuck Price said that the long drive between Phoenix and Dallas is ideal for their self-driving truck technology because the distance reaches beyond the range of a single driver. Without TuSimple’s technology, the postal service would typically use multiple drivers to complete this journey. “This run is really in the sweet spot of how we believe autonomous trucks will be used,” Price said. “These long runs are beyond the range of a single human driver, which means today if they do this run they have to figure out how to cover it with multiple drivers in the vehicle.”
The autonomous truck technology may be coming at exactly the right time. The American Trucking Association says that there could be a shortage of almost 200,000 drivers by 2024.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.

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