TuSimple to provide self-driving truck service to U.S. Postal Service
TuSimple, a global self-driving truck company, announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has awarded it a contract to perform five round trips, for a two-week pilot, hauling USPS trailers more than 1000 miles between the Phoenix and Dallas USPS distribution centers. 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 Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The freight that flows along I-10 corridor accounts for 60% of the total economic activity in the U.S. TuSimple expects this to be a central route for the company because there is already strong demand from other customers for runs between Arizona and Texas.
"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," said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, founder, president and chief technology officer, TuSimple. "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."
The Postal Service is exploring the feasibility of using autonomous delivery vehicle technology to reduce fuel costs, increase safe truck operation, and improve its fleet utilization rate through longer hours of operation.