Groceries will be transported through the Nuro Autopilot Toyota Prius fleet, each with a safety driver supervised. But later this year, the company plans to deploy its custom-made R1 driverless delivery truck, which is currently being used to transport groceries in Arizona. Currently, only two Kroger stores are participating in this experiment, customers can pass KrogerwebsiteOr place an order with the mobile app. Grocery orders can be scheduled for delivery on the same day or the next day. The delivery fee for each order is $5.95 and there is no minimum order amount.
The news was released after Japanese technology company Softbank invested nearly $1 billion in Nuro. This is a huge recognition of a well-known start-up company engaged in autonomous driving technology. Founded in 2016, Nuro is made up of two former Google autopilot engineers who specialize in food distribution rather than passenger transportation. It is also one of the few companies to operate fully driverless cars on public roads. Its R1 is about half the width of a compact car, shorter than most cars, and there is no room for passengers or drivers.
So far, Nuro has built six such cars and plans to build more cars. It also plans to increase the standard car test fleet with autopilot hardware and software to around 50, and will be on public roads in California, Arizona and Texas, with safety drivers. The R1 may have no space for people to drive, but the vehicle is not completely unmonitored. Nuro uses Chase vehicles with manual driving and remote technology to monitor the operation of each unmanned vehicle.