The Postal Service is going driverless! Well, not fully…but they’re experimenting, at least. Earlier this week, USPS announced that it will partner with self-driving truck startup TuSimple in a two-week pilot program to deliver the mail in driverless semi trucks. During the program, TuSimple will haul USPS trailers over 1,000 miles in 5 round trips between the Postal Service’s Phoenix and Dallas distribution centers. Raise a glass, because the future is now!
What is TuSimple and What Do They Do?
TuSimple is a self-driving truck startup with the mission to bring the first self-driving truck to market. According to their website, the company’s goal is to “increase safety, decrease transportation costs, and reduce carbon emissions.” Interestingly enough, they just received a $1 billion valuation! This is a pretty impressive feat, considering TuSimple only formed four years ago in 2015.
To date, the company has raised $178 million in funding rounds that have included heavy tech hitters such as Nvidia and ZP Capital. They have also been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider, and a slew of other press outlets.
If you want to learn more about TuSimple, feel free to check out their website.
Why This Pilot Program is Important Both TuSimple and USPS
This program is important for both the Postal Service and TuSimple for a variety of reasons. From TuSimple’s perspective, this is their big shot to prove their value to the United States Government. If the program goes well, the possibilities for government freight contracts are quite literally endless.
On USPS’ side of the coin, a successful pilot would pave the way for driverless trucks across the country. As a result, USPS would free up a ton of manpower to make delivering the mail that much more efficient.
Here’s to hoping the pilot program is a success! If you live in the Dallas or Phoenix areas, keep on the lookout for TuSimple’s self-driving trucks out on the road in the near future!