Last month, the United States Postal Service announced it awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture a new generation of postal delivery vehicles. It will be the first major upgrade to the USPS fleet in thirty years.
Oshkosh Defense, based in Oshkosh, W.I., will produce at least 50,000 to 165,000 trucks over 10 years. All the vehicles will be assembled in the United States. The Postal Service has a fleet of more than 230,000 vehicles, approximately 190,000 of which deliver mail six or seven days a week. The current mail-delivery trucks are Grumman LLVs manufactured between 1987 and 1994. They were only intended to have a have 24-year life span.
The exact design of the new vehicles has yet to be finalized, but it’s clear that these trucks will have a unique look. And while they may look funny, the vehicles were designed with safety in mind. The large windshield allows for increased visibility and eliminates the front blind spot. The low hood and bumper were designed to prevent pedestrian fatalities. Should one get hit by a truck, they are more likely to get stuck in the legs rather than the torso, a difference that could very likely safe their life. This comes at a time when pedestrian deaths are reaching record highs.
Other safety features found on the trucks include 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, air bags, a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning and automatic braking.
The new fleet vehicles will also be environmentally friendly, equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains. The trucks will also have increased cargo space allowing them to accommodate higher package volumes, thus reducing the number of trucks needed on the road.