Nuro: Driverless Pizza Delivery Coming Soon
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Imagine a cute and efficient robot car delivering your pizza for you. One that might just come to your neighborhood in the future!
Self-driving cars are the next big thing in the car world, but they face strict regulations and testing procedures.
Nuro is a robotics company working to bring their driverless delivery cars everywhere. They’ve even received special exemptions to carry out their services.
Nuro, the delivery vehicle of the future
The Robot Report explained how Nuro is already the face of Domino’s driverless pizza delivery.
Nuro and Domino’s announced a partnership all the way back in 2019. The dream of pizza delivery has been undergoing testing for a while now.
Nuro’s self-driving car is currently being tested in Houston to see how well it does the job.
The Nuro R2 is compact and chubby, and not just to look unique. Its front is designed to be pedestrian-protecting. Its size, weight, speed, and electric propulsion are all meant to make it a socially responsible neighborhood vehicle.
The R2 is programmed with cautious driving habits. Like normal vehicles, it does not operate on a sidewalk or a bike lane.
Nuro doesn’t just provide pizza. Nuro also provides delivery for groceries, prescriptions, hot food, and other locally sourced goods.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is famous for having strict regulations for autonomous cars.
That’s why it’s amazing that Nuro managed to secure a special exemption from NHTSA to operate on public roads.
How Nuro became the first self-driving car to receive special exemptions
Nuro is a fully autonomous vehicle (AV), which means it doesn’t have a human driver on board. The company’s vision includes doing away with the usual essentials, like doors, airbags, and even a steering wheel.
That also means no accelerator, no brakes, and not even a windshield.
TechCrunch detailed how NHTSA didn’t exactly like that idea at the start.
NHTSA inquired about how the Nuro cars would react to moving objects. What if a kid runs in front of an R2?
And in this age of technology, what if a hacker with malicious intent were to hack into Nuro’s bots? Does Nuro have a good cybersecurity plan?
There has been a lot of criticism towards Nuro. And not just to Nuro, but to all autonomous vehicle companies. The criticism isn’t just for the sake of road safety.
In the end, NHTSA granted Nuro the exemption they sought. Up to 5000 R2 vehicles could be driven on roads without a windshield, rearview mirror, or backup camera.
So far this is the only time the government has relaxed safety requirements for an AV.
David Estrada, Nuro’s chief legal officer, said: "There are multibillion-dollar industries that can be disrupted if autonomous vehicles become successful."
So understandably, there will probably be many more hoops for Nuro to hop through before driverless delivery vehicles become commonplace.
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