Daily Post 1231
NURO’s R2 BOT – AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE LEAP
The movement towards achieving the feat of making fully autonomous vehicles keeps gaining momentum despite the major technical and operations testing setbacks and humungous effort required to get driverless exemption. The last major setback was when a Waymo self-driving car send a motorcyclist to the hospital. It was later believed to be a human driver’s fault. This was Nov. 2018, the lull since then seems to be over and good news of a different type is bringing cheers to the research fraternity across companies.
Recently Nuro, the autonomous delivery start up became the first company to receive a driverless exemption from the federal government. The exemption was granted by US Dept. of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was provided for Nuro’s low speed electric vehicle called R2. The vehicle would be used for local delivery service for restaurants, grocery stores and other enterprises.
Even with one service and limited area of operation, Nuro R2 Marks a major milestone both for Nuro and for the autonomous vehicle industry. It now also gives a reasonably clear cut idea to the direction the federal Govt. is taking in regulating this technology. It will operate in Houston on public roads. This is based on pilot done in 2018 with Kroger to pilot a delivery service in Arizona. Without a human driver, traditionally federally required features side view mirrors or a transparent windscreen have now been dispensed with.
”Nuro’s second-generation low speed delivery vehicle was designed to be unmanned and operates exclusively using an automated driving system.” This intelligent vehicle is equipped with lidar, radar, cameras to give the “driver” a 360-degree view of the surroundings. The exemption period is for two years and it allows Nuro to produce and deploy no more than 5000 R2 vehicles during this period.
THE FEDERAL EXEMPTION FOR AUTONOMOUS DELIVERY VEHICLES IN HOUSTON IS A MILESTONE FOR THIS INDUSTRY.