Self-driving truck company TuSimple wins USPS contract
Company’s autonomous technology to be tested over two-week pilot
TuSimple has won a contract with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to perform five round trips, for a two-week pilot, hauling USPS trailers more than 1,000 miles between the Postal Service's Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas distribution centres.
TuSimple will run a series of its self-driving trucks for 22 hours each, which includes overnight driving, along the I-10, I-20 and I-30 corridors to make the trip through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
TuSimple expects this to be a central route for the company because there is already strong demand from other customers for runs between Arizona and Texas.
The truck will have a safety engineer and driver on board for the duration of the pilot to monitor vehicle performance and to ensure public safety.
The Postal Service is exploring the feasibility of utilising autonomous delivery vehicle technology to reduce fuel costs, increase safe truck operation and improve its fleet utilization rate through longer hours of operation.
"It is exciting to think that before many people will ride in a robo-taxi, their mail and packages may be carried in a self-driving truck," said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, TuSimple. "Performing for the USPS on this pilot in this particular commercial corridor gives us specific use cases to help us validate our system, and expedite the technological development and commercialization progress."