Nuro’s third-gen, self-driving delivery vehicles, unveiled today, have a new safety feature: airbags to protect pedestrians in the event of an accidental collision.
Nuro’s zero-occupant delivery vehicles can fit up to 24 bags of groceries, support almost 500 pounds of items, and handle hot or cold food via modular inserts, “which means pizza stays warm and soda stays cool,” Nuro says.
But that won’t help if Nuro mows down a pedestrian en route to your house. The latest delivery bot “contains a sophisticated network of sensors that work together to give an in-depth, 360-degree view of the world in which it operates,” Nuro says—even if that world is shrouded in fog. But accidents happen. So “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.”
Nuro argues that its robots will improve road safety by reducing the number of car trips people take to run errands the Nuro could perform instead. For those on foot, “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,” Nuro says.
The new Nuro has a top speed of 45mph, up from the 25mph max speed of the Nuro R2, which had to impose a speed limit in order to operate in California and receive a US Department of Transportation exemption. Nuro says the increased speed allows it “to reach more customers and serve more businesses on a wider variety of roads.”
Nuro says its bots will work in a “wide variety of geographies that experience various weather conditions throughout the year.” (It might want to do a test run in Estonia.)
The electric Nuro uses 100% renewable electricity from wind farms in Texas, according to Nuro, which is currently in pre-production on a manufacturing facility and test track in southern Nevada. It also teamed up with EV manufacturer BYD North America on assembly.