The U.S. Postal Service announced plans to update its vehicle fleet for the first time in 30 years earlier this week. The radically new design, which has yet to be finalized, quickly sparked debate on social media. The new trucks will be out on the road by 2023 and designed by Oshkosh Defense in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They have dubbed the trucks the "Next Generation Delivery Vehicle."
The Postal Service awarded Oshkosh Defense a 10-year contract, with an initial $482 million investment. The company was tasked with finishing the new design and making 50,000 to 165,000 of the new vehicles over the next ten years. "The vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery-electric powertrains and can be retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies," the USPS said. "The initial investment includes plant tooling and build-out for the U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur."
The new trucks will also have air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics, 360-degree cameras, better braking and traction control, airbags, front-and rear-collision guidance systems, and automatic braking. There will also be more space in each vehicle to carry more packages. “Our fleet modernization also reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to a more environmentally sustainable mix of vehicles,” U.S. Postal Service CEO Louis DeJoy said. “Because we operate one of the largest civilian government fleets in the world, we are committed to pursuing near-term and long-term opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment.”
Highly polarized responses to this so far, let's get some real data. This design is:— Sam Mintz (@samjmintz) February 23, 2021
Although the U.S. Postal Service only released unfinished designs, the pictures still caused a debate on Twitter. When Politico's Sam Mintz launched a poll on the design, almost 60% of the 217,000 respondents called it an "ugly duckling." Just 40% consider it "sleek and cool." Others suggested it looked very similar to a car Homer Simpson designed in an episode of The Simpsons.prevnext
Giving the USPS truck even more Pixar vibes pic.twitter.com/ESvmmesmmt— kristian bob (@kristianbob) February 24, 2021
One person suggested the truck looked like the house on four wheels that appeared in a Top Gear episode. Another person got "Pixar vibes" after seeing the design. It does look very similar to the cars in Cars.
Where have I seen this before? pic.twitter.com/tBnFE9UhHh— Pete こう, RPN (@Peter9_0) February 24, 2021
Everyone seems upset about the new USPS mail truck but no one is pointing out that it spells "MAIL" (if you write MAIL on it) pic.twitter.com/hR9bcocEYd— Jason Rugg (@JaseRuggy) February 24, 2021
One voice actor joked that the truck spells out "mail (if you write MAIL on it)." Another person suggested it looked like characters from Duckman.prevnext
Literally had the same thought pic.twitter.com/R5IjTmXxG1— Jake Jackman (@Jjackman9) February 25, 2021
"The new USPS vehicle design looks like my attempt to draw a truck in first grade," one person wrote. "Why did my mind go right to Dr. Finkelstein when I saw the new USPS trucks?" another person wrote. This was a reference to the character in The Nightmare Before Christmas.prevnext
I see a square car, I ask “why isn’t it being driven by hamsters?!”— Mariel (@MarielRosic) February 23, 2021
"Bro those new USPS delivery trucks look like the flying car from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Who the f— thought this was a good idea?" one blunt Twitter user wondered. "The new USPS truck look like a beluga whale," another person wrote.prevnext
Many, many Twitter users compared the designs to cars from children's author Richard Scarry's books, specifically the apple car driven by a worm character. "Richard Scarry's out here designing USPS trucks," one person wrote.prev