Just when postal carriers are concerned about contracting out, here comes a semi-automated robotic delivery vehicle (see photos below). According to the innovators website:
SARA is a semi-automated postal deliver robotic vehicle. The concept is a proposal for a robotic vehicle for delivery of letters and flats in residential areas. Using state of the art navigation and positioning systems a robot could be developed to more efficently deliver common goods and handle easy transactions such as billing and charging for outgoing mail.
In this project we collaborated with Stanford professors to showcase one out of many conceivable uses for robotic applications. Hence that the system would not be fully autonomous but rather a working under human supervision. We concluded that many tasks of the postal delivery can and should be automated to gain savings in fuel and man hours.