On Friday, October 16, 2015, the United States Postal Service issued the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) Prototype Request for Proposal (RFP) to prequalified suppliers determined as a result of the January 20, 2015 FBO Notice RFI-NGDV: Request for Information and Prequalification/Sources Sought – Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) Acquisition Program.
The NGDV Prototype RFP Statement of Objectives (SOO) (see General Requirements, SOO, and Drive Cycle Attachment) is posted hereto along with the list of prequalified suppliers to provide industry and technology firms interested in sub-contracting opportunities under the subject RFP the Postal Service’s program objectives and contact information. Prequalified supplier responses to the RFP are due no later than Friday, February 5, 2016 at 5:00PM EST.
The USPS operates a fleet of over 200,000 vehicles in all areas of the United States and its territories. Approximately 163,000 of these vehicles are right hand drive, light-duty carrier route vehicles (CRVs) purchased between 1987 and 2001. These vehicles are rear wheel driven, powered by internal combustion engines, and of aluminum body-on-frame design. The payload capacity is approximately 1,400 pounds. These vehicles are near their design useful life resulting in significant annual maintenance costs. They are not current with advancements in vehicle technologies such as drivetrains, emissions, and safety related features. The USPS intends to retire this fleet in coming years, and to replace them with Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs).
The USPS will provide the opportunity for the supplier to visit USPS Delivery Units to observe mail delivery operations. During the visit the supplier is encouraged to pay particular attention to how the carriers prepare the mail for the vehicle, vehicle loading, delivery operations (Follow a carrier on a route), and observe how the carrier interfaces with the current LLV. The USPS will continue to accommodate site visits throughout the prototype contract. The supplier is encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity, as the observations will be critical in finalizing the prototype design
The USPS will perform field-testing at its postal facilities. The location, or locations, of this field-testing are yet to be determined. The USPS field-testing will involve actual USPS letter carriers and maintenance technicians evaluating the prototype vehicles and is broken into two segments.
The first segment of the USPS field-testing will require that letter carriers drive the prototype vehicles over simulated and actual delivery routes. The route testing will include all aspects of the driver’s daily routine such as inspecting the vehicle, loading the payload into the vehicle, driving the route, and curbside delivery. Upon completion of the route, the letter carrier will be interviewed about their experience driving each vehicle, and asked to complete a short survey. The surveys will aid the USPS in ranking the prototype vehicles by criteria that are most important to the letter carriers. Criteria such as ergonomics, aesthetics, handling, and accessories will be used in rating the test vehicles.
The letter carriers will also be asked to perform a series of tasks that focus on operating procedures for various subsystems of the vehicle. Tasks such as opening and closing the rear and partition doors, repositioning the mail tray, and adjusting the position of the steering column, mirrors, and driver seat will be performed and evaluated for ease of use. The letter carriers will also be asked to operate the headlights, turn signals, hazard lights, interior lights, parking brake, accelerator and brake pedals, windows, camera system, and all other instrumentation to provide feedback on the accessory locations and accessibility. The letter carriers will also be interviewed and surveyed upon completing these “ergonomic limit” tasks.
The second segment of the USPS field testing will require that USPS maintenance technicians perform a series of mock repair procedures on the prototype vehicles. The procedures will be closely monitored and documented, possibly by video camera, to capture any difficulties and the time required to perform each maintenance procedure. The maintenance procedures to be performed will be based on common scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and repair tasks performed on the current LLV fleet. Tasks such as changing the oil, transmission fluid, starter motor, windshield wipers, door handles, brakes, alternator, and headlamps will be performed. All maintenance and repair procedures will be performed on the prototype vehicles simultaneously by maintenance technicians assigned to each vehicle. After completing a procedure, the technicians will fill out a questionnaire about the procedure.