Two grocery stores in fast-growing Houston, Texas, will receive a new robotic delivery service from Nuro, a self-driving startup founded by two former Google engineers. The service is an extension of the partnership between Nuro, which started last year in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Kroger, a grocery company.
Initially, groceries are delivered through the Nuro's own Toyota Prius car, and each car has a safety driver behind the driver. However, we plan to deploy a custom R1 unattended delivery vehicle that is currently being used to deliver food to Arizona later this year. (The old auto-operated head recognizes Google's resemblance to the original "Firefly" prototype, which we retired in 2017.)
Only two stores in Kroger are participating in the experiment and customers are Kroger.com or mobile apps. Grocery orders can be booked on the same day or next day. The delivery cost is $ 5.95 per order and there is no minimum order quantity.
SoftBank in Japan made nearly $ 1 billion investment in Nuro. One of the lesser known start-ups in the technology of collecting themselves had great confidence. Nuro was formed in 2016 by a former Google chairman, a driving engineer, who differentiated himself by focusing on serving food rather than moving.
Nuro is one of the few companies that run completely unmanned vehicles on public roads today. Its R1 vehicle is about half of the compact sedan, which is shorter than most cars, there is no interior room for a human passenger or driver. Nuro has produced six of these vehicles so far and plans to use cash injections to manufacture more. It plans to increase the test fleet of standard vehicles with self-running hardware and software to approximately 50, and operates with driver safety devices on public roads in California, Arizona and Texas.
R1 There may not be room for a human driver, but the vehicle is not fully monitored. Nuro uses a chase vehicle with a human driver and remote technology to monitor vehicles without each driver.