R1. © Nuro.
Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, two roboticists who worked as engineers on Google’s autonomous vehicle project (now called Waymo), founded Nuro in 2016. This company is developing a completely autonomous electric vehicle, dubbed R1, that’s purpose-built for deliveries. Ferguson explains, “The last mile transportation contributes to 30 to 50 percent of the total logistics cost of goods transportation; the problem is real and costly. We realized we could create an entirely new kind of vehicle designed purely for goods transportation and reduce this cost. Importantly, this sort of vehicle could also be created sooner, more efficiently, and safer than passenger transportation. Because of its flexible interior, R1 can be reconfigured for its specific purpose in that delivery.” The issue with the R1 is that while it focuses on the “last mile”, it neglects the last few feet… You have to be at home, dressed and ready to meet the R1 outside to receive your order. Despite this, however, the company has won over investors and received $92 million in funding.
⇨ IEEE Spectrum, “Nuro Raises $92 Million for Adorable Autonomous Delivery Vehicles.”