USPS to trial self-driving trucks

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is set to trial self-driving trucks in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas for a two-week period.

TuSimple, a self-driving truck company, has announced that the USPS has awarded it a contract to perform five round trips, for a two-week pilot. This trial will haul USPS trailers more than 1,000 miles between the Postal Service’s Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas distribution centres.

The truck will have a safety engineer and driver on board for the duration of the pilot to monitor vehicle performance and to ensure public safety.

TuSimple will run a series of its self-driving trucks for 22 hours each, which includes overnight driving, along the I-10, I-20 and I-30 corridors to make the trip through ArizonaNew Mexico and Texas.

The freight that flows along I-10 corridor accounts for 60 percent of the total economic activity in the United States.

“It is exciting to think that before many people will ride in a robo-taxi, 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,” Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, TuSimple said.