Officials at the U.S. Postal Service held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the agency has awarded a $US482 ($609) million contract to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defence for a new fleet of vehicles scheduled to be rolled out in 2023. But the design of the new vehicles has been polarising to say the least, with some social media users absolutely loving it and others seeming to think they look like clown cars.
USPS delivery vehicles haven’t gotten a refresh since 1994, as Car and Driver magazine points out, so it makes sense that whoever might design a fleet here in the 2020s would try to be bold. And bold they are, with Oshkosh’s plans for the so-called Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) getting strong reactions all around.
But that boldness has drawn criticism from some people on Twitter after Politico’s transportation reporter Sam Mintz tweeted about the new design.
This is the new next-gen USPS delivery vehicle coming to your neighborhood by 2023 pic.twitter.com/WkEd3VkHkU— Sam Mintz (@samjmintz) February 23, 2021
“Looks like shit,” New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac replied, while other said it was a “waste of money.” Still others said they don’t care what the vehicles look like and took the opportunity to complain about mail delays.
Even the more positive reactions seemed to include underhanded compliments, making note that the proposed vehicle looks like something out of a children’s book. Several people compared the new USPS design to an infamous design from the Simpsons TV show, which could be interpreted as either positive or negative, we suppose.
The Postal Service notes the new vehicles will include air conditioning, heat, as well as advanced tech like 360-degree cameras. There’s also a rear-collision avoidance system that includes automatic braking and plenty of visual and audio warnings.
The design hasn’t been finalised yet, so there could be changes before these things make their way off the assembly line. But the top boss at USPS, a holdover from the Trump regime, believes these vehicles are the future.
“As the American institution that binds our country together, the U.S. Postal Service can have a bright and modern future if we make investments today that position us for excellence tomorrow,” Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy said in a statement published online.
“The NGDV program expands our capacity for handling more package volume and supports our carriers with cleaner and more efficient technologies, more amenities, and greater comfort and security as they deliver every day on behalf of the American people,” DeJoy continued.
What do you think? Are these vehicles exactly what you want in a futuristic design? Or are they horrendous abominations that should be returned to the hellish pit from which they came? There really is no in between when it comes to the reaction of people online, it would seem.