The US Postal Service is testing self-driving trucks this month. An autonomous truck will haul USPS trailers between Arizona and Texas in partnership with TuSimple, a global self-driving truck company (which, interestingly, uses Amazon’s AWS technology).
In a YouTube video, TuSimple explains that its trucks have a 1000 meter perception system that allows it to see objects’ speed, positioning, classification, trajectory, and intent.
Automotive News said there will be two-person crews at all times – for now. “Human safety drivers remain a vital component of the testing. Further afield, TuSimple expects to launch fully self-driving operations, without safety drivers, in late 2020 or 2021.”
The USPS said the crew consists of a safety engineer and driver. The trucks will haul USPS trailers and make five round trips between postal facilities in Arizona and Texas in mid-to-late May.
“This pilot is one of many ways the Postal Service is innovating and investing in its future, two of the organization’s core strategies,” the agency said. “USPS is also conducting research and testing as part of its efforts to operate a future class of vehicles that will incorporate new technology to accommodate a diverse mail mix, enhance safety, improve service, reduce emissions and produce operational savings.”