Autonomous Delivery Startup Nuro Gets Approval From California's DMV to Deploy its Vehicles Without a Human Backup
【Summary】Autonomous grocery delivery startup Nuro announced its been granted a permit from the state of California to deploy is compact autonomous delivery vehicles on public roads in Silicon Valley without a human backup driver. Nuro becomes the second permit issued in the state that allows it to operate its driverless vehicles without human supervision.
With much of the country ordered to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have been ordering meals and groceries from a handful of companies including Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub and big retailers such as Target.
Autonomous grocery delivery startup Nuro announced its been granted a permit from the state of California to deploy is compact autonomous delivery vehicles on public roads in Silicon Valley without a human backup driver.
Nuro becomes the second permit issued in the state that allows it to operate its driverless vehicles without human supervision. The other company is Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc. which spun out of Google's early self-driving car project.
For the crop of new autonomous delivery startups in Silicon Valley, the lockdown provides an opportunity to court new customers, as more people are relying on more convenient and much needed delivery options. Nuro's fleet of delivery vehicles allow people to remain safely at home while their groceries, medicines or packages are brought to them during the shelter-in-place orders.
The company's fully-electric "R2" delivery vehicle is limited to speeds of 25mph and has a specially designed pedestrian-protecting front end and is programmed with software to make it as safe as possible around pedestrians and other vehicles. It's also more maneuverable in tight places.
Nuro's compact delivery vehicles are fully-electric and autonomous.
In a blog post, Nuro's Chief Legal & Policy Officer Dave Estrada wrote, "While we have always believed that self-driving delivery vehicles would improve road safety and provide valuable convenience to consumers, we did not foresee our service helping to keep Americans safe from contagion. But the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the public need for contactless delivery services."
With the current shelter-in-place orders, Nuro said it will be actively engaged in logistical planning for when public roads testing can begin. The next step in the California regulatory process will be to apply for a full statewide commercial deployment permit.
By granting the exception to Nuro, the state is opening the doors for other companies that plan to deliver goods using unmanned vehicles designed to carry cargo instead of people.
"The safety of the motoring public is the DMV's top priority, and we do not give out these permits lightly," California DMV director Steve Gordon said. "Nuro has met the DMV's requirements to receive this permit to test their driverless delivery vehicles on California's public roads."
Nuro plans to make free deliveries to select customers in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View and the surrounding area before launching a formal delivery service in partnership with local brands and retailers.
Nuro said it envisions "a future where everything comes to you, on-demand, for free."
Silicon Valley-based Nuro, founded in 2016, is one of dozens of startups working on autonomous, last-mile delivery services. The company is also well-funded.
A year ago, Nuro raised $940 million in its latest round of financing from the SoftBank Vision Fund. To date, Nuro has raised more than $1 billion from partners including SoftBank, as well as Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock Partners and China's Gaorong Capital.
Over the past two years, Nuro expanded its grocery delivery service with supermarket chain Kroger in Houston and partnered with pizza chain Domino's on a autonomous pizza delivery pilot.
"Putting our driverless R2 delivery vehicles on the road in California will be an important first for our company and the self-driving industry. But it is just a glimmer of what is to come." the company wrote in its blog post.
EV Startup Faraday Future Moves its Headquarters to China
Lucid’s New ‘Stealth Look’ Appearance Package for the Electric Air Sedan Compliments its High Performance DNA
Toyota’s Redesigned Prius May Get More Drivers Behind the Wheel of a Hybrid Vehicle
Toyota to Collaborate With Texas-based Utility Provider Oncor to Accelerate a Vehicle-to-Grid EV Charging Ecosystem
Stellantis to Idle its Illinois Assembly Plant Indefinitely, Citing the High Costs of Electric Vehicles
Apple Delays its Long Rumored Electric ‘Apple Car’ Until 2026, According to Sources
The World’s First Level-4 Automated Parking Feature Developed by Mercedes-Benz and Bosch is Approved for Commercial Use
Hyundai Motor Group Signs MoU with SK On Co. to Secure Batteries for EVs Built in the U.S.
- BorgWarner to Supply its Integrated Drive Module to Hyundai for a New EV That Will Enter Production in 2024
- Zeekr’s New 009 Electric Passenger Van is the World’s First EV to Feature CATL’s Advanced ‘Qilin’ Battery With a Range of 510 Miles
- Tesla Rival XPeng and Alibaba Cloud Set Up China’s Largest Cloud-Based Computing Center to Train Machine Learning Models for Autonomous Driving
- LG Develops ‘Invisible’ Speaker Sound Technology That Could Revolutionize In-Vehicle Audio
- Ford Motor Co Selects its Plant in Spain to Build 'Breakthrough' EVs for the European Market on a Next-Gen Architecture
- Electric Automaker XPeng and Bosch Join the ‘ELISA Project’ to Promote the Use of Linux in Safety-Critical Automotive Applications
- Rivian is Laying Off 6% of its Workforce, Citing Erratic Economy
- GM CEO Mary Barra Shares the First Look at the New Chevy Blazer EV Launching in Spring 2023
- California DMV Accuses Tesla of Making False Claims About its Driver-Assist Systems
- Volvo Offers a Sneak Peak of its New Flagship EX90 Electric SUV Ahead of its Upcoming Reveal on Nov 9