Nuro, an autonomous shuttle startup, has introduced its third delivery vehicle, which is 20% smaller than average passenger cars and improves on the safety of previous generations.
The goal of the third-generation shuttle is to reduce the number of car trips people would take to the grocery store while still being able to get the goods, packages and cargo they need.
The side of the shuttle allows for a smaller footprint on the road to give bicyclists and pedestrians more room to maneuver near the shuttle. It also contains an external pedestrian airbag across the front of the shuttle to reduce the force of impact and hopefully prevent serious injuries in the event of a collision.
Nuro said the compartments in the shuttle can hold nearly everything and allows to keep individual orders separate and secure. The addition of a large touchscreen will allow for new curbside commerce experiences such as mobile marketplaces.
The cargo area includes 27, 3 ft compartments that can fit about 24 bags of groceries and handle almost 500 lbs combined. Modular inserts that fit inside the compartments allow for heating and cooling with a range of temperatures from 22° F to 116° F.
The shuttle can reach a top operating speed of 45 mph and is completely battery-electric and emission free and Nuro said it is using 100% renewable electricity from wind farms in Texas to power the fleet of vehicles.
Sensors inside the vehicle work together to give a 360° view of the shuttle’s environment and can sense anything from a bundle of leaves and a pet crossing the road to how many pedestrians are standing at a crosswalk in a dense fog.
A busy 2021
Nuro was very active last year in using its shuttles for pilot projects from major commerce manufacturers.
The company signed an agreement with FedEx to test future parcel logistics in a multi-year, multi-phase agreement for autonomous deliveries.
The goal is to not only provide an easier way for consumers to get food and goods, but also, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a contactless way for delivery.
Nuro also announced plans in August 2021 to build a manufacturing facility and test track in southern Nevada that will help manufacture a fleet of tens of thousands of vehicles across the U.S.