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It's Time to Go Robotic at the United States Postal Service - Human Labor and Legacy Costs

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 143

Is it conceivable to create self-driving vehicles to deliver the mail? Yes, actually it is, and it would be a perfect application for autonomous automobiles in fact. So how would a robotic autonomous mail delivery system work in the United States? Well, interestingly enough, our think tank had discussed this back in 2000. We had the technology then, and we have it now as well, even better, safer, and smarter. In fact we are so far along on this technology, it's time that we put it into practice in some neighborhood in the United States.

We could use active matrix RFID tags on the mailboxes, robotic sorters at the post office, and autonomous LLVs (Long Life Vehicles, the new postal jeeps). Since the mailboxes are always in the same place, and by putting active radio sensors on them, the delivery vehicle would essentially drive up to the mailbox, providing nothing was blocking it, put the mail in, and go to the next mailbox. It could travel back and forth from the postal office without accidents too.

If the mail was sorted at the post office by an actual human, and they put all the mail in those little slots, then that entire system could go on a conveyor belt into the postal vehicle, and in it would drive the route. This isn't difficult, it's totally feasible, and I think Google is proving right now in the state of Nevada that these vehicles can drive hundreds of thousands of miles and not get in an accident, unless someone runs into them. In fact the Google autonomous vehicle did get into an accident, but it wasn't its fault, a human driver made a mistake and ran into it.

Look, the United States post office is trying to figure out a way to cut tens of billions of dollars so they can stay in business. The biggest cost of the United States post office is obviously the labor, most of the buildings have long been paid for, and if they don't get their costs under control they're going to have to stop delivering mail, raise the price of stamps to a point at which people are not willing to use it anymore, or perhaps go robotic as I am suggesting here today.

Perhaps to test out this system in a middle-class neighborhood, where all the mailboxes are similar, we can run a pilot program with some autonomous vehicle prototypes. We have the technology, we have the engineers, we have the robotic knowledge, and we have the incentive we need to cut the budget today. So I ask why not, why not move into the future, and make this happen? Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Auto Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Time To Go Robotic




United States Postal Service


Google Car


Human Labor


Legacy Costs


Think Tank

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