While the United States Postal Service may be referred to as “snail mail” in this digital age, technology may soon change that. USPS has started using self-driving trucks to send mail. There aren’t any drivers to get fatigued or that will need sleep. While the test runs have a safety driver behind the wheel and an engineer in the passenger seat to evaluate everything, this is not the long-term plan. Eventually, the trucks will be able to transfer mail without needing a reason to stop.
They’re testing trips between Phoenix and Dallas, with Peterbilt trucks that are run by TuSimple. This startup company is based in San Diego.
USPS hopes that steps like this will help them move forward and into the future. The vehicles could improve to reduce emissions and save time and money. In today’s world, a coast-to-coast trip typically takes five days. With these vehicles, they can do it in two. USPS has to hire outside contractors and keep drivers on the road all the time to make sure the mail gets delivered. Using autonomous trucks would take away the need to have constant drivers and hiring outside of USPS. After the trial, USPS will decide if they want to keep pursuing this goal with TuSimple.
Autonomous vehicle delivery is more attainable than self-driving mail trucks, which may still need a few years before they are able to use that as a mail delivery option. However, autonomous vehicles could be an option much sooner.
It’s likely that drivers will not know they’re near autonomous vehicles. It could distract some drivers because the concept is so new, and other drivers may be tempted to drive aggressively around the vehicle and test its limits.
USPS may be on the beginning of a path that leads them to integrating futuristic technologies into their industry, and will hopefully bring the improvements they wish to make.
Autonomous vehicle or not, car accidents do happen. If you need skilled legal representation, get in touch with Thomas Law Offices today.