As time progresses, the world continues to become more and more technologically advanced. That is why Nuro has officially revealed their self-driving car that they intend to use to make local deliveries.
Nuro’s self-driving car is a similar height to an SUV but thinner. It is an electric car with two exterior compartments which can be tailored to what it is delivering. It can be adapted to cook pizzas or to refrigerate food. “We can use self-driving technology to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere for basically all local goods and services,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder.
Nuro is not the only company currently working in this field. Earlier in the month Toyota announced its plans to create the e-Palette, an automated car that can be used as a mobile store, for ride-sharing or to deliver packages. They intend on partnering with companies such as Pizza Hut, Amazon and Uber. While Toyota’s model is supposed to be ready for testing by 2020, Nuro’s car is supposed to be ready to make deliveries by the end of the year. Google is also working on self-driving cars. In fact, the two co-founders of Nuro used to work as Google engineers in the self-driving car program.
Nuro intends to make another model of the car that will be suitable for mass production. Although mass production is on the agenda, Nuro has yet to name which companies they will partner with for deliveries.
The car is predominantly designed for urban and suburban driving conditions rather than highway driving. This means the car would only be useful within small towns and cities where highway driving is not common.
Although the car has great promise, it will not be met without obstacles. In Mountain View, California, where Nuro is situated, it is not legal to have self-driving cars on the road without a test driver. There is a possibility that because the car will not be carrying any people, it may be easier for the company to get it on the market. If the car were to make it to Canada, Nuro would not be met with the same issues due to Canada’s willingness to use autonomous cars.
Another cause for skepticism is in terms of the job market. Many are worried that the introduction of these vehicles will eradicate the need for certain jobs. Ferguson disagrees.
“We feel by creating this new technology that’s going to enable this last mile delivery, we’re going to be creating new markets and doing things that previously weren’t possible,” Ferguson said. “This is not swapping out jobs with robots. It’s creating new markets. There will definitely be new employment opportunities.”
A final concern is based on the safety of the vehicles. Without having drivers behind the wheel, many are worried that the cars will not be able to adapt to changing conditions on the roads and will therefore cause accidents. Nuro insists that this will not be a problem due to the car’s small size which will make it more suited for manoeuvring between cars and avoiding pedestrians. They also intend on having the cars operate in a very predictable manner, so that drivers on the road can know what to expect.