October 9, 2017

In this vision, the postal worker sits behind the wheel but lets the truck do the driving, sorting mail and stuffing letters and packages into mail boxes while rolling down the street. Eliminating the need to constantly park the vehicle, get out, then get back in and get back to driving would yield, the report says, “small but cumulatively significant time savings.”

This being a semiautonomous mail truck, the driver would have to be ready to take over control at all times. In the beginning, researchers say, this will be especially important while navigating from the post office to the beginning of the postal route, and while navigating intersections.

The postal service reasons the experimentation is less risky on rural routes, which have less traffic and fewer pedestrians and cyclists, “and are therefore more forgiving of an imperfect AV model.” It’s exactly the reason vehicle tech developers like Tesla and Cadillac have released semiautonomous features for highway-only driving. With wide, open, well-marked roads, it’s a much less complicated environment for a robot to navigate.

According to the report, Michigan researchers will deliver their first semiautonomous delivery truck prototype in December of this year. If all goes according to plan, the USPS will pilot 10 prototypes on rural routes in 2019, leading up to that full-scale, countrywide rural deployment between 2022 and 2025. The mail people also say they plan to look into city deliveries and building fully driverless vehicles, the kind that don’t need steering wheels or pedals.


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Anthony Young

A waste of money…

Deb Gober

Soooo, will we actually get to just ride around and stick mail in a box?

Tish Wells

And when it has an accident, does it get written up?

Deb Gober

O and I want a push plow on the front of mine for all those blocked boxes! Bahahahaha!

Rebecca Becker

And sticking mail in boxes of you’re not fast enough does it pull away hurting the carriers arm?

Shannon Cole

What ? They tell us it only takes 18 seconds to get out for a parcel ? How much time will this save ? ?

Rebecca Becker

Watch it pull away while delivering parcels… Take about a runaway!! Lol!

Kim Phetteplace Greenlee

imagine calling the office……uh, my truck just left me.

Shannon Cole

Rebecca Becker that will be the last time they ever see me at the po if it does ???

Al Wright

It’s a waste of money what we really need is more managers we definitely don’t have enough supervisors are postmasters I don’t know about you guys but we could use probably 10 managers in every office

Ruth Krause Wilson


Spencer Creedmore

Good luck on the gravel roads!

Tyler Pinegar

This is going to be the biggest clusterfuck everrrr.

Shannon Cole


Carol Cummings

Oh hell no! I refuse to get in that thing…they can’t get the scanner co.mends to go off before the box and they want my arm outside this ride with them controlling it…oh hell no!

Leah Goldman


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