The United States Postal Services (USPS) has revealed that it will pilot self-driving tucks to transport mail across three Southwestern states in the US.
Partnering with self-driving truck company TuSimple, the trial signals how many firms are looking to commercialise autonomous vehicle technology for hauling freight.
The initial pilot will see self-driving trucks operating between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas.
It will see around five round trips, each totalling more than 2,1000 miles.
“The work with TuSimple is our first initiative in autonomous long-haul transportation,” USPS spokeswoman, Kim Frum, told Reuters.
“We are conducting research and testing as part of our efforts to operate a future class of vehicles which will incorporate new technology.”
Launched in 2015, TuSimple recently completed a $75mn series D financing round, bringing it’s valuation to over $1bn.
By the end of 2019, it hopes to have a 200-truck fleet in the U.S. and a 300-truck fleet in China, which would make it the largest self-driving truck solutions company in the world.