Another startup that proposes an alternate turn on self-ruling transportation left stealth today. The organization, called Nuro, was established by two previous lead Google engineers who dealt with the famous self-driving auto venture. Not at all like the plenty of self-driving new companies out there, Nuro isn’t centered around reconfiguring robot taxis or independent trucks, yet on outlining another kind of vehicle inside and out.
Nuro is centered around conveyances, particularly the kind that are low-speed, neighborhood, and last-mile: basic needs, clothing, or your take-out request from Seamless. The startup believes that robotizing these administrations could help bear the sharp increment in last-mile conveyances, while likewise lessening car crashes and boosting neighborhood organizations who are searching for approaches to flourish and contend in the period of Amazon.
And their timing couldn’t be better. The converging trends of robotics, self-driving cars, and e-commerce are leading to an explosion of interest in the last-mile delivery challenge. Consumers are ordering more items online than ever before, and there is a growing expectation for shorter and shorter delivery windows. A recent study by McKinseyput the global price tag of last-mile delivery every year at around $86 billion, with staggering year-over-year growth rates.
While it works out the kinks in its drone delivery project, Amazon is also considering using self-driving robots, having just filed a patent for an autonomous ground vehicle. Toyota unveiled its bizarre “e-palette” concept at CES this year. Meanwhile, Starship Technologieshas sidewalk-only delivery robots making trips in California, Washington, DC, Germany, and the UK. Last year, Ford Motor Company teamed up with Domino’s to deliver pizza via a self-driving car. And later today, a Northern Californian startup called Udelv is demonstratingwhat it calls “the world’s first public-road autonomous delivery test,” in which a self-driving van (with human safety driver) will deliver goods from the high-end Draeger’s Market chain in the Bay Area city of San Mateo.
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Nuro is taking a different approach. Rather than dress up a Lexus crossover or a Ford Focus in self-driving hardware and throw some grocery sacks inside, their engineers have built something entirely new from the ground up. At first glance, Nuro’s R1 prototype (just an internal nickname and not the official name) looks like a giant lunchbox on wheels, or maybe even a mobile toaster. If anything, Nuro’s first vehicle looks more like the original “Firefly” prototypes that Google officially retired last summer than anything you’d see on the road today.