Nuro, the independent car startup founded by ex-Google engineers, will use its small fleet of street-felony supply robots to transport pharmaceuticals to CVS shoppers in Houston, Texas, the firms announced on Thursday.
The deliveries will start in June and will come at no further rate to CVS customers in Houston. to start out out, Nuro will use its fleet of Toyota Priuses geared up with self-driving era to make the deliveries and can switch to its objective-built driverless R2 vehicles later. the company will handiest make deliveries from one CVS pharmacy as a part of its pilot software sooner than branching out to serve different retail outlets.
In an announcement, CVS VICE CHAIRMAN of retailer operations Ryan Rumbarger stated the corporate has noticed an increased call for for deliveries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “we want to offer our shoppers extra selection in how they are able to quickly get right of entry to the drugs they need whilst it’s no longer handy for them to visit one among our pharmacy places,” Rumbarger said.
Consumers within the provider area who are hanging prescription orders by way of CVS.com or the CVS app can make a selection the autonomous supply possibility and upload other non-prescription pieces to their order. they will also want to confirm their identity to liberate their delivery whilst Nuro’s self reliant car arrives curbside at their home.
This represents a shift in Nuro’s conventional operations
This represents a shift in Nuro’s standard operations, which can be fascinated about grocery and meals supply in Arizona and Texas. as well as to a small number of R2 cars, the company also conducts deliveries the use of its retrofitted Toyota Priuses with protection drivers in each and every. But as a result of social distancing rules, the corporate is purely the use of one protection motive force in keeping with vehicle for its supply routes in Arizona and Texas, and it’s most commonly working its car manually. Closing month, Nuro mentioned it could begin using its R2 cars to transport medical provides round two California stadiums that experience been transformed into treatment amenities for people with COVID-19.
the corporate has the respect of being the first independent vehicle operator to receive a federal exemption to mass-produce driverless cars with out traditional controls like guidance wheels or sideview mirrors. Nuro also was recently authorized to test its driverless supply robots on public roads in California, becoming handiest the second company to receive this type of allow.
The pandemic has made it an especially precarious time for self-using automobile companies, particularly those that have been unable to safe sufficient funding to sustain their operations via an extended shutdown. Nuro, which received nearly $1 billion from Japanese firm SoftBank ultimate yr, is observed as one of the better-capitalized companies.
The pandemic may be forcing a few autonomous car corporations to reconsider their robotaxi aspirations and ponder pivoting to deliveries. Nuro, which has at all times been completely interested in deliveries, might be uniquely located to benefit from the ones circumstances.