The U.S. Postal Service has announced the start of a two-week test transporting mail across three Southwestern states using self-driving trucks, according to a Reuters article.
The Postal Service will be utilizing San Diego-based startup TuSimple’s self-driving trucks and begin hauling mail between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas to see how the technology might improve delivery times and costs. A safety driver will sit behind the wheel to intervene if necessary, and an engineer will ride in the passenger seat, according to the article.
If the trips are successful, it could mean that autonomous driving is a possible solution to the driver shortage and regulatory constraints faced by freight haulers across the country.
The pilot program involves five round trips, each totaling more than 2,100 miles (3,380 km) or around 45 hours of driving. It is unclear whether self-driving mail delivery will continue after the two-week pilot, according to the article.