The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) released a new report yesterday (October 2), which identifies seven different ways USPS could use autonomous vehicles for last-mile delivery and long-haul transportation.
The seven applications comprise autonomous vehicles that drive the carrier; autonomous vehicles that assist carriers in delivering mail; an autonomous vehicle that parks itself; an autonomous vehicle that picks up additional mail and packages from post offices; a mobile parcel locker; the platooning of trucks; and autonomous trucks that handle the transportation of mail on highways between distribution hubs.
In the report, the USPS OIG states that while none of the suggested use cases could be fully deployed today, it is worthwhile researching and testing the technology so that USPS can be ready for the transportation network of the future.
As a result, the OIG suggests that USPS takes a step-by-step approach by continuing to test the technology first, gradually automating vehicles where it makes strategic sense, and refining its automated vehicle strategy as the technology, market, regulation and public perception evolve.
To read a full version of USPS OIG’s Autonomous Vehicles for the Postal Service report, click here.
October 3, 2017