Here's One Idea to Save the Postal Service

Op-ed: Put sensors on trucks to help forecast the weather
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2010 11:41 AM CST
These trucks help predict the weather, too.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – The Postal Service is going broke, but one potential money-maker for the agency is riding around in plain sight: all those mail trucks. They already go everywhere, so why not stick small sensors on them "to collect and transmit information about weather or air pollutants?" suggests an official with the Postal Regulatory Commission. The trucks "would go from being bulky tools of industrial-age communication to being on the cutting edge of 21st-century information-gathering and forecasting," writes Michael Raynitzky in the New York Times.

The National Weather Service already pays a company to do something similar with long-haul buses, so surely there's money to be made with the mail trucks. The data could also help identify everything from gaps in cell-tower coverage, to roads with nasty potholes, to chemical agents. As long as checks are in place for privacy concerns, the idea's worth considering, writes Raynitzky. Not only would the Postal Service make money, "it would contribute to the country’s safety and economic health."

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