Post Office

How AI is Reshaping Mail and Postal Delivery


Post offices are often at the forefront of new technology, as developing efficient systems for delivering mail is essential for keeping costs down for users. Computer systems, in particular, hold tremendous potential for scanning and routing mail, allowing post offices to lower costs. Accenture has released a report, entitled "The New Delivery Paradigm," that examines 25 post offices through Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. For an average post and parcel industry, the analysis reveals that $500 million per year in value is possible through investment in advanced digital technologies. Increased competition and lower demand for mail is placing pressure on many post offices, but new investment could help cut costs, particularly when it comes to handling the so-called "last mile" of delivery.

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WATCH: North California Fire Doesn't Deter USPS Mailman From Delivering Post

International Business Times

A drone video captured by professional drone operator and photographer Douglas Thron, reportedly before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a no-fly restriction, showed fire-wrecked Santa Rosa, California on Wednesday where a Postal Services worker was seen dutifully delivering mail to addresses- the delivery van winding its way through rubbles of houses, blackened trees and wrecked remains of cars. According to Mercury News, aerial photographer Thron was shooting a video footage of Coffey Park, a neighborhood that had been ripped apart by the recent fires starting Sunday, when he was surprised to notice the clean, white USPS truck. "It was a trippy thing – he was actually delivering the mail," Thron told the paper. "I did a double take," Thron told SFGate.

The US Postal Service Is Working on Self-Driving Mail Trucks


That's all according to the postal service's Office of the Inspector General, which oversees the agency and last week released a report on its plans to work autonomy into its 228,000-vehicle fleet. Those plans are already in motion: The post office has partnered with the University of Michigan to build what it's calling an Autonomous Rural Delivery Vehicle, which it wants to launch on 28,000 rural routes nationwide as early as 2025. In this vision, the postal worker sits behind the wheel but lets the truck do the driving, sorting mail and stuffing letters and packages into mail boxes while rolling down the street. According to the report, Michigan researchers will deliver their first semiautonomous delivery truck prototype in December of this year.

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Japan Post mulling plan to transport parcels between post offices in mountainous areas, to remote islands, by drone

The Japan Times

The envisioned project by the mail and package delivery unit of state-owned Japan Post Holdings Co. comes in the wake of e-commerce operator Rakuten Inc. and major parcel delivery provider Yamato Holdings Co. testing drone deliveries, but safety concerns remain about the new delivery method. "We are aiming to fly drones between post offices in mountainous areas and remote islands," Japan Post Executive Vice President Seiki Fukuda said at a news conference Monday. Japan Post is planning drone delivery in rural areas because there is a smaller risk of the machine falling on people on the ground and because at post offices, workers will be able to receive packages directly. In fiscal 2016, Japan Post carried out experimental drone deliveries, aiming to deliver packages to doorsteps at some point in the future.

U.S. Postal Service's financial straits could disrupt daily mail delivery

PBS NewsHour

Postal Service (USPS) crates sit on the floor at the Brookland Post Office in Washington, D.C., U.S. No customer data was stolen in a recent data breach, USPS officials say. Postal Service is warning that it will likely default on up to $6.9 billion in payments for future retiree health benefits for the fifth straight year. It is citing a coming cash crunch that could disrupt day-to-day mail delivery. Postmaster General Megan Brennan stressed an urgent need for federal regulators to grant the Postal Service wide freedom to increase stamp prices to cover costs.

AusPost trials machine learning to manage unpaid bills


Australia Post has quietly created an email add-on tool that uses machine learning to find unpaid bills and itemise when they need to be paid. The postal service said it would use undisclosed machine learning techniques to extract data from the bills and itemise them according to due date. In particular, Bill Scanner looks for the payment amount, due date, and who issued the bill, and also extracts a full copy "for presentation in the application". "Bill Scanner verifies your Postbillpay bills automatically," the postal service said.

Scam on Google Maps directs you to fake businesses

Daily Mail

Tens of thousands of fake listings are added to Google Maps each month that scam consumers into employing unaccredited contractors, a new study has found. The search giant, in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, has discovered scammers are a setting up their business location at a specific address, but are listing a fake suite number that the U.S. Postal Service has verified. When a potential victim calls the'contractors' for a service, a fraud representative gives them a cheap price quote - but the contractor coerces them into paying more on site. Google teamed up with the University of California over a year ago to'research the actors behind fake listings'. Google and the university found that the fraudsters would use an existing location and then setup a fake suit number that they would verify with the Postal Service.

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Dr. Venu Govindaraju, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, is the founding director of the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors. He received his Bachelor's degree with honors from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1986, and his Ph.D. from UB in 1992. His research focus is on machine learning and pattern recognition in the domains of Document Image Analysis and Biometrics. Dr. Govindaraju has co-authored about 400 refereed scientific papers. His seminal work in handwriting recognition was at the core of the first handwritten address interpretation system used by the US Postal Service.