Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Who’s afraid of autonomous mail trucks?

Highly automated vehicles (HAVs) have gone from fantasy to reality in the past decade. It is remarkable to witness the various prototypes motoring about courses and taking test drives on America’s roads. Already, related technology helps people parallel park their cars — some don’t even require the driver be in the car. Among other benefits, HAV technology has the potential to save lives and reduce insurance costs by greatly decreasing human errors, which cause 94 percent of accidents. Computers, note two keen observers, don’t get drunk or drowsy. Nor do they experience road rage.

But one especially interesting — and relatively unremarked upon — development is the application of HAV to the mail and delivery industry. Nearly all mail and packages are delivered by trucks, which log millions of miles on the roads each year, moving mail from airports to mail sorting facilities, and then on to post offices and homes. The numbers are staggering….(Read more)

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