January 12, 2022
Nuro, which develops autonomous zero-occupant delivery vehicles, has announced the third generation of its vehicle. The new flagship model, called Nuro, is part of the company’s plans to scale its autonomous delivery services to millions of consumers across the U.S.
The new vehicle is designed to carry more goods and enable more deliveries, with twice the cargo volume of the company’s second-generation vehicle,. The automotive production-grade vehicle will also include modular inserts to customize storage, as well as temperature-controlled compartments to keep goods warm or cool. Nuro said the new model furthers its commitment to sustainability through fully electric and zero-emissions vehicles. The company also announced it will use 100% renewable energy for all vehicle charging and facilities for the first time starting this month.
Because Nuro’s vehicles are designed specifically for transporting goods and not passengers, the vehicle prioritizes the safety of other road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists. Safety enhancements on the new vehicle will include an external air bag to improve safety for pedestrians outside the vehicle, as well as a multi-modal sensing suite that includes cameras, radars, lidar and thermal cameras, creating a redundant 360-degree view of the world.
“Five years ago, we set out to build an autonomous vehicle and delivery service designed to run errands, giving people back valuable time,” said Dave Ferguson, the co-founder and president of Nuro. “Through our strategic partnerships with Domino’s, FedEx, Kroger, 7-Eleven and more, we are doing just that – improving road safety, sustainability and overall access to goods delivery. With the introduction of our new flagship model and the ground-breaking of our new production facility, we are excited about the opportunity to fulfill our vision of improving everyday life through autonomous delivery at scale.”
The new Nuro vehicle will be produced with BYD North America, and completed at Nuro’s new $40 million end-of-line manufacturing facility and closed-course test track in southern Nevada. The facilities will have the capacity to manufacture and test tens of thousands of delivery vehicles per year to ensure they are ready for deployment. BYD North America will assemble hardware components for the vehicle platforms, while Nuro will complete the final steps of manufacturing to make the vehicles ready for deployment. The company said the new Nevada facilities are expected to be fully operational this year.
The company said it continues to expand its strategic partnerships – in 2021 the company announced a multi-year commitment with FedEx, introduced Chipotle as an investor partner, piloted delivery with Domino’s in Houston and with 7-Eleven in Mountain View, California. The company also formalized a commitment to leverage the company’s third-generation vehicle with grocery chain and investor, Kroger.
“As America’s largest grocer, Kroger formed a strategic partnership with Nuro in 2018,” said Yael Cosset, senior vice president and CIO at Kroger. “We continue to invest in the company as a testament to its industry-leading technology and our commitment to innovation. The third-generation vehicle launch is the latest expansion of this collaboration. We expect the rollout will continue to delight customers looking for the freshest groceries, providing them with the convenience and value they expect from Kroger.”
The new vehicle announcement also follows Nuro’s $600 million Series D funding round, which closed in Q4 2021, led by Tiger Global Management.
For more details on the new vehicle, visit the Nuro website here.