Well, the United States Postal Service has decided to raise the price of first-class stamps by one penny. No, that will not be enough to solve their financial woes, legacy costs and underfunded pensions, or get them into a profitable situation.Liteblue USPS Gov Login The reality is that they can’t raise the price of stamps too much, where people will simply stop using the mail altogether, in many regards that has already happened; hasn’t it? Sure, due to electronic communications, e-mail, fax machines, text messaging, and what have you, things have changed. Things will get even worse as 3-D printing becomes more prevalent. Okay so let’s talk. usps liteblue
Well then, what must be done to save the United States post office you ask? Maybe it’s time to Google it? That is to say that maybe Google can save the USPS from a complete bankruptcy meltdown. Am I suggesting that Google needs to partner with the USPS, or take over its operations? No, rather, what I suggest is that Google’s autonomous vehicle technology, at its Google X research division, come up with a self-driving postal delivery vehicle.
Interestingly enough, this wouldn’t be as difficult as you might think. After all, the vehicle would drive the exact same route every single day, it would stop at the exact same mailboxes which are in the exact same position that they’ve always been. Isn’t it time that we take inexpensive robotics which can sort the mail, load the delivery vehicles, and then send them out by themselves? You might think we are talking about all science fiction here, but I assure you I am not. You see, I was at the first DARPA Challenge and it is amazing how far this technology has come since then in only a decade. It’s almost ready now for what I propose.
There is an interesting research paper I think you should read titled; “CarSpeak: A Content-Centric Network for Autonomous Driving,” by Swarun Kumar, Lixin Shi, Nabeel Ahmed, Stephanie Gil, Dina Katabi and Daniela Rus Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2012).
Indeed, after you read that research paper I think you’ll agree with the authors that soon we will have automatic garbage collector vehicles which drive autonomously as well. It’s just one more step in integrating the robotic control systems that sort the mail allowing them to load the postal jeeps for them to go out and do their service. They have all the sensors, optical reading systems, and communications systems needed to get this done. That would save the United States Postal Service a huge amount of money and prevent them from going bankrupt because they wouldn’t have any employees to pay.