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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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, according to the Associated Press and other media outlets.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 38 mins ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.