Robotic startup firm, Nuro has gotten official approval to start its paid delivery service with autonomous vehicles. This much was revealed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Steve Gordon, DMV director stated that the permit granted to Nuro marks a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous vehicles in California.
The deliveries of groceries, food, and medicines will begin in two localities in the vicinity of the company’s Mountain View headquarters.
San Francisco and Silicon Valley’s streets have experienced a surge in self-driving vehicles in their roads for several years, albeit mainly on temporary permits for testing purposes. That has now changed with the entry of robotics-startup Nuro as a paid service provider for autonomous deliveries.
In 2017, the company was given the approval to test its vehicles with safety drivers inside, and in April 2020, the company got further approval to commence testing without safety drivers.
Nuro, earlier this year, raised $500 million as it expands its operations and said it will begin delivery service with modified Prius vehicles set in fully autonomous mode, and thereafter launch its fleet of fully autonomous R2 vehicles, that come without a steering wheel or driver’s seat.
The R2 has a top speed of 56 km per hour and is a four-foot sized car. It operates with thermal imaging, radar, and 360-degree cameras, to drive on the public road safely and intelligently.
The company expects its new service to make an instant hit with Californians, as the delivery service will help streamline the lives of big, busy families, while also taking care of the needs of persons who can’t drive for one reason or the other.
The delivery service is just a tip of the expansion plans of the company, which recently announced the acquisition of autonomous trucking firm, Ike, for an undisclosed sum.
Nuro has also filed several patents including one to capture smart advertisements displayed on the side of a self-driving vehicle.
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