The Postal Service should push ahead with tests that have already started regarding potential uses of driverless vehicles, an IG report has said, noting that “other logistics companies are already researching ways they can realize the technology’s promise to increase safety, reduce fuel costs, and improve worker productivity.”

Potential applications of such vehicles could include assisting carriers in delivering mail–for example, with the vehicle doing the driving while the carrier prepares the mail, or following a carrier who is walking so the carrier doesn’t have to walk back to where the vehicle was parked.

Other possible uses include autonomous trucks that handle the transportation of mail on highways and “a mobile parcel locker that is a complete departure from current delivery methods,” in which the locker would come to the customer on demand with no carrier involved.

“While none of the suggested use cases could be fully deployed today, it is worthwhile for the Postal Service to research and test the technology now so that USPS can be ready for the transportation network of the future,” it added.