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Oversized future USPS delivery truck on display at CES in Las Vegas

Updated January 5, 2022 - 9:11 pm

The postal truck is set to receive its first upgrade in about 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service showing off its new oversized vehicle of the future at CES in Las Vegas.

The “next generation delivery vehicles” stand 9.5 feet tall, stretch 19.6 feet long and are 7 feet wide. The larger upgrade is aimed at what Todd Schimmel, acting senior director of Technology Acquisition and Program Management for USPS, said is the expected future direction for parcel delivery.

“The added cargo capacity is specifically for our projections on where e-commerce is going and where packages are going so we can better serve our commercial customers, the Amazons of the world… and to also serve our end customers, which is your neighbor and my neighbor,” he said.

Schimmel also said the added cargo capacity will make it easier for carriers.

“We have a side door on this vehicle so they don’t have to work out of the back,” he said, adding that carriers can load through the back “then they work on the street on the street side of the vehicle.”

As one would expect, the new model mail trucks feature a bevy of technology to ensure a driver’s mobile office is safe and allows them to implicate smart devices in their service.

The vehicles include Bluetooth technology, collision avoidance, 360-degree cameras, backup sensors and cameras and self parking that puts on the parking brake anytime it senses a driver is not in the driver’s seat.

“The carrier’s office is this vehicle, so we want to cater to them as much as we can,” Schimmel said. “We want to make sure they’re comfortable and they’re safe.”

Four variants of the new mail trucks will begin to roll out to U.S. destinations at the end of 2023.

There will be two internal combustion engine types and two battery electric vehicle options, one of which will be two-wheel drive and one with four-wheel drive capability.

The USPS is conducting modelling of where the electric mail trucks perform best to figure out what markets will receive them.

“Our BEV (battery electric vehicle) route now is 70 miles,” Schimmel said. “So we have to do a route analysis as well as environmental analysis.”

Schimmel said the electric model tends to not perform as well in extreme cold and hot climates. Despite that, he said Las Vegas is on the list to receive some battery operated vehicles.

“Vegas is on the list, but it’s not high on the list,” Schimmel said. “We have a ranking of where they can potentially go.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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