The United States Postal Administration has begun the testing of autonomous trucks in three Southwest states.
This is another step in the implementation of this transport technology. The Administration is testing self-driving trucks on a more than 1,000-mile mail run between Phoenix and Dallas.
The Postal Service is uniting with a California-based company, called TuSimple, on the project. The tests are being carried out over two weeks.
For security reasons, the Truck will have a certified driver and safety engineer aboard, who will handle the driving on surface streets and take control of the robot as needed.
The objective is to assess how autonomous technology can optimize delivery times and costs.
If the experiments pass successfully, this will be major progress for the autonomous vehicle industry and possibly a solution to the shortage of drivers and regulatory limits in the transporters sector.
The company needs to do much more testing, making sure the truck can handle things like combines, construction zones, and traffic lane changes.
Transportation authorities say the United States is currently facing a shortage of truck drivers.
The American Trucking Association guesses there will be a shortage of as many as 170,000+ drivers by the year 2024. Perhaps autonomous trucks can help to fight this future emergency.