The United States Postal Service (USPS) has started utilising autonomous trucks to transport mail from Phoenix and Dallas on Tuesday in a two-week trial, according to Supply Chain Dive.
USPS are looking into how self-driving vehicles could impact delivery and operational costs, with the first trial using TuSimple autonomous trucks, which means they can operate without human oversight or intervention in certain conditions.
With a human driver and safety engineer accompanying every shipment, the trial is set to include five runs with each around a 2,000-mile round trip, which will consist of 45 hours on the road.
It is thought that long-haul routes would be made easier through the use of autonomous trucks as a team of drivers would need to share a small space whilst working overnight shifts, according to TuSimple.
In a statement, Xiaodi Hou, the founder, president and Chief Technology Officer of TuSimple, commented: “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.”