We’ve always known that solving last-mile delivery through robotics would better everyday life for millions of people. Designing the right autonomous vehicle to do that — and taking a zero-occupant approach to that design — has been a monumental task involving years of work and iterations built on real-world learning.
We wanted to get it right. We needed to make it safe, fully electric, and easy to operate. And we needed it to scale quickly so it could get to work. Finding the right balance between something we wanted in our own neighborhoods and something that could be produced at scale was no easy feat. But it was worth it.
Now, we’re thrilled to announce Nuro’s third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle. This new vehicle improves on our previous design and is ready to be produced at scale. Every detail is intentional, and now we’re ready to share some of the most impactful innovations of our new model.
Safety has been and always will be our top priority. In fact, it’s one of the core reasons Nuro was founded — we knew that reducing the number of car trips people take would enable us to keep more people safe. But we didn’t stop there: our third-generation vehicle is designed to be an asset to the roads on which it operates in a number of ways.
Our new vehicle is approximately 20% smaller in width than average passenger cars. That significantly smaller footprint gives bicyclists and pedestrians more room to maneuver alongside the bot.
A custom external pedestrian airbag across the front of the bot is optimized to reduce the force of impact and number of injuries in the event of collision.
Our next-generation vehicle is designed to safely operate in the same environment as all motor vehicles. That allows us to serve a wide variety of geographies that experience various weather conditions throughout the year.
The new vehicle was designed to feel like a friendly member of the community and to be fun to interact with. We designed the compartments to hold nearly everything and to keep individual orders separate and secure. And a beautiful, large touchscreen will allow us to design new and engaging curbside commerce experiences such as mobile marketplaces.
Taking people out of our vehicles means we have more room for the good stuff. Our 27 ft3 compartments combined can fit about 24 bags of groceries and handle almost 500 lbs. Modular inserts that fit inside the compartments allow for heating and cooling, with a range of temps from 22ºF or hot to 116ºF, which means pizza stays warm and soda stays cool.
Our new model will be able to reach a top operating speed of 45mph, allowing the vehicle to reach more customers and serve more businesses on a wider variety of roads.
Our vehicles are already completely battery-electric and emission-free, but we’ve decided to take our commitment to sustainability even further: in this new vehicle, we’re using 100% renewable electricity from wind farms in Texas to power our fleet and to reduce our overall carbon footprint. And all materials adhere to strict sourcing and supply chain standards meant to protect the natural environment.
The new model contains a sophisticated network of sensors that work together to give an in-depth, 360º view of the world in which it operates.
In addition to being able to sense everything from the difference between a bundle of leaves and a pet to how many pedestrians are standing at a crosswalk in dense fog, the new model also has the ability to clean its own sensors. This self-cleaning is important to maintain operations and retain sensitivity throughout the day.
We hold our security to the strictest standards. Our systems are safe to operate because they’re designed securely from the ground up. We engineer defensive and detection mechanisms into the system for early warning about potential attacks and ensure our safety margin is maintained in every conceivable scenario. Early detection throughout our system is continuously evaluated by an internal offensive security test and evaluation team that conducts penetration testing emulating highly funded and exceptionally skilled attacks.
In August, 2021, we announced our plans to build a manufacturing facility and test track in southern Nevada. These facilities will be crucial for bringing online the tens of thousands of vehicles we’ll need to be able to serve neighborhoods across the country. Pre-production is underway now, and we’re partnering with BYD North America — part of one of the largest OEM networks of electric vehicles in the world — to assemble globally sourced hardware components for the vehicle platforms.
BYD will be able to leverage the manufacturing capacity of its Lancaster facility to support Nuro and bring more jobs to California. And we’ll be bringing more jobs to southern Nevada. In fact, our southern Nevada facilities are expected to create an initial 250 highly skilled career opportunities with long-term growth potential in the autonomous vehicle industry.
Why it matters
Our third-generation vehicle was purposefully designed to become a beloved member of the community — every community. When we set out to transform everyday lives through robotics, we placed great emphasis on equity: we didn’t want to only cater to specific neighborhoods or certain demographics. We wanted to unlock access to goods and services for millions of people around the world. It’s a vision we believe in.
This is the vehicle we’ll be producing at scale to better everyday life for millions, and we can’t wait for it to be on the road right outside your front door. Because, along with delivering nearly anything from local stores, it’s also delivering greater equity, safer communities, less pollution, and a whole lot more time to spend with the people you love.