America Postal Service (USPS) unveiled the designs for its next-gen supply vans this week, and the consequence marks a jarring shift from the cramped cabs that zigzag neighborhoods right this moment. The company introduced it was contracting Wisconsin-based firm Oshkosh Protection to construct a fleet of as much as 165,000 automobiles within the subsequent 10 years. The primary wave of vans is anticipated to reach in 2023, transporting packages and letters by way of rain, sleet, and snow in model.
The brand new vans are constructed for capability, consolation, and carbon effectivity, USPS officers defined throughout a press convention on Tuesday. “Our automobiles journey streets and roads in all varieties of circumstances in each neighborhood throughout the county,” stated Kristin Seaver, the company’s chief retail and supply officer. “[The future models] will present improved security and ergonomic options, extra cargo house for packages, and different vital elements designed for the distinctive work our carriers do day-after-day.”
Social media, nevertheless, was lower than variety to the successful idea, which comes with a $482 million contract for now. Some in contrast the truck’s colossal windshield to a facet profile of Butthead. Others identified similarities to Nicolas Cage’s brow.
Jokes and sizzling takes apart, it’s value digging into the mandatory upgrades that USPS is making with its new fleet. Let’s have a look.
Smaller carbon footprint
The Subsequent Era Supply Autos, as they’re formally known as, will rock battery-powered motors or inside combustion engines with an improved gasoline economic system. As a baseline, the 30-year-old Grumman LLV mannequin the company makes use of right this moment has a median gasoline economic system of 17 miles per gallon. USPS officers stated they goal is to have a largely electrical fleet by the tip of the last decade.
[Related: GM will only make electric cars after 2035]
Higher street security
Driving a mail truck won’t appear so harmful—till you contemplate all the youngsters, bikes, and runaway pets that postal carriers need to dodge on their routes. The brand new automobiles include a back-up digital camera, 360-degree digital camera, and blind spot sensors within the side-view mirrors to higher shield each drivers and pedestrians. An computerized parking brake and entrance and rear bumper sensors ought to assist forestall additional mishaps.
Extra room for Amazon packages
From 2019 to 2020, USPS noticed a 19-percent bump in package deal deliveries and an 11-percent dip in mail deliveries. A lot of that may be chalked as much as pandemic procuring habits, however the company is considering of it as a long-term development. To organize for an onslaught of business cargo, the next-gen automobiles can have a walkthrough cargo house that rivals that of UPS, FedEx, and Amazon Prime vans. No extra squeezing by way of awkward window slots for postal carriers.
Climate-proofed, to some extent
Do you know that the Postal Service’s present supply vans don’t have air con? (They do have central warmth, but it surely’s not very dependable, in accordance with folks on the job.) The Oshkosh Protection design incorporates a cooling system that runs off the engine, making it in order that carriers can catch a cold breeze within the hardest summer season circumstances. No phrase on if the tires shall be upgraded to all-season and all-terrain.
[Related: A first look at Amazon’s electric delivery vans]
And at last, that mega-tall windshield
Sadly, the company didn’t increase on the distinctive glass-heavy design throughout the press convention. However as Curbed reporter Alissa Walker factors out, past making the truck extra aerodynamic, it provides a number of layers of security by way of easy physics. She writes:
“The jutting decrease lip of this USPS truck, as bizarre because it seems to be, is a transformative, life-saving characteristic. Do you have to be hit by this (very slow-moving, often) car, you’ll doubtless be struck on the legs, throwing you up onto the convex hood, the place you’re so much likelier to roll off to the facet as a substitute of beneath the wheels. You’re virtually certainly much less prone to be killed.”
A sky-high windshield additionally eliminates most blinds spots in entrance of the car. The outcomes would possibly look humorous, however in the long run, they need to assist taxpayers save time, dimes, and lives.