These driverless vehicles can beat coronavirus lockdown to deliver goods

These custom, low-speed, zero-emission, self-driving vehicles look ideal to deliver essentials to people stuck at home due to coronavirus lockdown.
By Sabyasachi Dasgupta
| Updated on: 08 Apr 2020, 04:47 PM
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At a time when the administration is struggling to find means to reach material to the people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, driverless vehicles offer a solution that few have embraced.

The US-based startup Nuro is one exception though. The administration in California has allowed the company to test its driverless vehicles for deliveries on public roads in the state.

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For people who cannot leave their house, these vehicles could be really perfect to bring shopping quickly to home. In addition, they could also be used successfully for the delivery of medicines and to bring medical supplies to clinics.

Nuro is a startup specialising in the development of autonomous driving solutions and was founded by two former Google engineers. Nuro is the second company in California to receive this important permit.

The company had already been authorised to test its autonomous vehicles for food deliveries in Arizona and Texas. Now, it can do the same in nine Bay Area cities.

Nuro has designed, prototyped, and extensively tested this custom, low-speed, zero-emission, self-driving vehicle. The vehicle is designed to be fully self-driving, so it does not have space for a driver or passengers. It is engineered for short neighbourhood trips and for the exclusive purpose of transporting and delivering goods. With a flexible interior design, our vehicle can handle errands of all kinds.

The vehicle is lighter, nimbler, and slower than a passenger car. It is equipped with state-of-the-art software and sensing capabilities that never get distracted. The custom vehicle is engineered to make delivery of everything more accessible — from groceries to pet food, prescription drugs to dry cleaning. Nuro feels that the vehicle's smaller size and low manufacturing costs will help the company to make such cars more rapidly. Since it is a low-cost vehicle, the company claims it can deliver any item at affordable price.

Nuro plans to start the testing as soon as possible. The company's plans are to begin offering free deliveries to select customers in surrounding areas. These tests will allow the company to subsequently launch a home delivery service in collaboration with local retailers.

First Published Date: 08 Apr 2020, 04:42 PM IST

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