Nuro Inc. is the first company approved to operate a driverless delivery business in California.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday approved a license for Mountain View, California-based Nuro to deploy its autonomous vehicles on public streets to make commercial deliveries.
“The issuance of the first roll-out permit is a major milestone in the development of autonomous vehicles in California,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said in a statement. “We will continue to keep the safety of car drivers in mind as this technology evolves.”
In a blog post, Nuro’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer David Estrada said “We have thoroughly tested our self-propelled technology and built a track record for safe operation over the past four years.”
Nuro said it will soon announce a delivery partner and intends to implement its fleet of modified Toyota Prius vehicles “in fully autonomous mode” in two southern Bay Area counties, followed by the rollout of its specially designed R2 electric vehicles.
R2 is a small, box-like vehicle that can only go 25 km / h without a steering wheel inside and only room for packages. It is only allowed to drive on certain streets and in reasonable weather conditions.
Nuro has been allowed to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver inside since 2017, the DMV said, and was approved in April for fully driverless test rides.
“Driverless delivery will have a big impact on Californians in the years to come,” Estrada said in the blog post. “A parent in Mountain View can have the week’s groceries delivered without tying the family into the car. A grandmother in East Palo Alto will have access to affordable home delivery of everyday necessities. And a young woman in San Jose is given the opportunity to start a new career overseeing the operation of a driverless fleet of vehicles that live up to those promises. ”
Nuro was founded in 2016 by former engineers from Google’s Waymo. According to Crunchbase, a total of $ 1.5 billion. In financing, including $ 940 million from SoftBanks 9984,