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.