Nuro announced its third generation autonomous delivery vehicle – called Nuro. Previous iterations of the vehicle were called R1 and R2.
One of the most eye-catching features of the new vehicle is its external, front airbag. This airbag deploys if the vehicle collides with pedestrians and bikers, and is meant to keep those around the vehicle safe.
Nuro is smaller than average cars, about 20% narrower than the average car. This allows more space on the road for cyclists or pedestrians. Nuro’s max operating speed is 45 mph, an increase from R2’s top speed of 25 mph.
Like R1 and R2, Nuro is completely passengerless, but it has double the storage capacity of R2. It can carry a total of 500 lbs, with space for about 24 grocery bags in its compartments. Modular inserts allow for heating and cooling of the compartments. The car can keep goods at temps as low as 22ºF or as hot as 116ºF.
The new model is outfitted with a sophisticated sensor suite that gives the vehicle a 360º view of the world around it. Nuro has self cleaning sensors, ensuring that they remain operational in varying weather conditions.
The company is doubling down on its commitment to lower emissions. Like previous models, Nuro is battery-electric and emission-free. Unlike in the past, however, Nuro is using 100% renewable energy from wind farms in Texas to power its fleet.
“Five years ago, we set out to build an autonomous vehicle and delivery service designed to run errands, giving people back valuable time. 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,” Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, said. “With the introduction of our new flagship model and the ground-breaking of our new production facility—one of the industry’s first end-of-line manufacturing facilities in America—we are excited about the opportunity to fulfill our vision of improving everyday life through autonomous delivery at scale.”
In August 2021, the company announced it was building a manufacturing facility and test track in southern Nevada. This facility plans to bring on 250 workers to scale Nuro. The company plans for the facility to be fully operational by the end of the year.
The company is also partnering with Build Your Dreams (BYD) North America, a branch of a Chinese OEM network of electric vehicles. This partnership will help Nuro to assemble globally sourced hardware components for the vehicle platforms.
The company didn’t give any details on when it’s new model would be hitting the streets, but it is in pre-production now.
In 2021, Nuro announced partnerships with 7-Eleven, FedEx and Domino’s to test its delivery vehicles. In November 2021, it announced that it raised $600 million in Series D funding. The company is valued at $8.6 billion.