Oct 10, 2017

USPS is building semiautonomous mail trucks

USPS carrier Stephanie Starr, of Seymour, pushes a mail cart. Photo: Joel Philippsen / AP

The United States Postal Service is working with the University of Michigan to launch an "Autonomous Rural Delivery Vehicle" as soon as 2025, according to a Wired report. Postal workers will be behind the wheel sorting mail and placing it into mailboxes, while the vehicle drives down the street.

  • The first prototype is expected this December from the University of Michigan. In 2019, 10 prototypes will be piloted on rural routes by the USPS, and a nationwide deployment of vehicles will take place between 2022 and 2025. The autonomous vehicles could help save the postal service money by cutting down on crash-related costs and fuel.
  • With the trucks, USPS joins a trend in which delivery companies are rolling out autonomous vehicles globally. Among them is Germany's Deutsche Post DHL, which plans to deploy self-driving trucks next year.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,289,259 — Total deaths: 375,987 — Total recoveries — 2,706,820Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

What it was like when police used tear gas to clear a path for Trump

President Trump walking back to the White House. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Moments before President Trump began his Rose Garden address, a mass of law enforcement suddenly marched forward in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

Why it matters: It was a jarring scene as police in the nation's capital forcefully cleared young men and women gathered legally in a public park on a sunny evening, all of it on live television.

Trump goes full law-and-order

Photo: Tom Brenner/Reuters

President Trump's final decision to speak in the Rose Garden last evening as protests raged outside the gate was made only hours before, reflecting chaos on both sides of the fence.

Why it matters: Trump’s ultimate remarks fell where his instincts always were: blunt, brutal law and order, with extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and blustery threats.