The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to partner with self-driving truck company TuSimple to use self-driving trucks to haul mail.
The two-week pilot will involve USPS trailers driving more than 1,000 miles between the Postal Service’s Phoenix and Dallas distribution centers.
TuSimple will run a series of its self-driving trucks for 22 hours each, including overnight driving. The trucks will also carry a safety engineer and driver to monitor vehicle performance.
"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,” states Dr. Xiaodi Hou, founder, president and chief technology officer of TuSimple.
The Postal Service is exploring the practicality of using autonomous delivery vehicle technology to reduce fuel costs, increase safe operation and improve fleet utilization rate by lengthening the hours of operation, according to the USPS.