US Postal Service testing self-driving trucks

The U.S. Postal Service has launched a two-week test using self-driving trucks to transport mail between distribution centers. (Source: TuSimple/CNN)

(CNN) – You may be one step closer to having your mail delivered by a robot – or at least touched by one on its journey.

The U.S. Postal Service launched a two-week test of autonomous trucks Tuesday.

The Postal Service is testing the trucks as a potential way to cut costs after several years of losing money due to declines in letter volume.

The pilot program is using trucks from startup TuSimple to traverse a 1,000-mile route between distribution centers in Phoenix and Dallas.

Federal regulations require two-driver teams on a 22-hour route, but there are no such restrictions on self-driving vehicles, which would make the trek faster and cheaper.

Long-haul routes are also the most difficult to keep staffed with qualified drivers.

Teams of drivers and engineers will ride in the trucks for the five round trips they will make during the test.

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