USPS Delivers With Self-Driving Semis

USPS Delivers With Self-Driving Semis

A driver shortage is spurring demand for self-driving trucks that operate on highways on long-haul routes.  Interestingly, truck routes are less complicated for autonomous vehicles to maneuver than tricky urban city roads.

The United States Postal Service commissioned a two-week pilot test for TuSimple’s self-driving semis, to perfect the AI-based on-highway autonomous technology.

The semis were loaded with mail to complete five roundtrip runs between distribution facilities in Phoenix and Dallas.


Video Spotlight: Self-driving trucking start-up CFO on its new partnership with USPS


This post is based on the Forbes article, U.S. Postal Service Delivers Mail Using TuSimple’s Self-Driving Trucks, by Alan Ohnsman, May 21, 2019; and the YouTube video, Self-driving trucking start-up CFO on its new partnership with USPS, by CNBC Television, May 28, 2019. Image source: Chesky/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the operational benefits of autonomous truck hauling services?

Guidance: One benefit is offsetting the shortage of human drivers. It should also save costs; large-scale commercialization of highway autonomous technology means higher productivity when using the truck as the input. Human drivers are limited by law to the number of hours they can drive, for safety reasons. Remove the driver Continue reading

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Ford Goes Further – To the Last Mile

Ford Goes Further – To the Last Mile

Ford is partnering with Agility Robotics to build a two-legged robot called Digit for package delivery.

Digit will unfold itself from the trunk of a driver-less Ford car at the destination, pick up the correct package and drop it off at a pre-designated delivery zone.

Ford is positioning itself to compete in the last mile delivery market. It is estimated that 85% of the last 50 feet from curb to door will be handled by autonomous robots like Digit.


Video Spotlight: Ford teams up with Agility Robotics to create a delivery bot


This post is based on the Venture Beat article, Ford taps Agility Robotics’ bipedal robot to test package delivery, by Kyle Wiggers, May 22, 2019; and the YouTube video, Ford teams up with Agility Robotics to create a delivery bot, by CNBC Television, May 22, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock/Tatyaby

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the operational benefits of Digit for Ford?

Guidance: Product innovation allows Ford to further its driverless vehicle development efforts. Partnership with Agility Robotics allows Ford to expand into the package delivery business.

2. Do you think it is wise for Ford to compete in the last-mile delivery market?  Continue reading

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