Nuro in partnership with 7-Eleven rolls out a commercial autonomous delivery service in California. It will be a first in California where an autonomous delivery service is being used. Nuro is a self-driving startup that formed a partnership with a convenience store operator to provide the services.
Companies working on self-driving technology are launching or working on getting approvals to launch autonomous delivery services. The regulatory approvals are being provided in California as long as there is a driver behind the wheel who is constantly monitoring the vehicle. There are various such restrictions but companies are working on many improvements through real-life driving situations.
Nuro’s services will start by using Toyota Priuses that will be converted into autonomous vehicles. There will also be a safety driver who will be monitoring the vehicle throughout the drive. Nuro said in a statement, “The Priuses are the first step in Nuro’s Multi phase approach to introducing commercial autonomous delivery to select service areas.”
Further Nuro added that they are working on introducing Nuro R2 driverless vehicles with a joint decision made by 7-Eleven. Currently, the service will be available to customers located in Mountain View where Nuro is headquartered. The company is already delivering Domino’s pizza products in Texas using the sale of Pirus vehicles. R2 vehicles are also being used in Huston, Texas.
Nuro was the first autonomous vehicle startup to get a permit to launch its vehicles in California. Last year California Department of Motor Vehicles permitted the use of automated vehicles for business for Nuro. The other companies to get such permits are Waymo and Cruise who received permits in September this year.
Nuro was successfully able to raise $600 million and also got Alphabet’s Google as an investor. Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo will also deliver groceries. The groceries from one of the safety stores in San Fransisco will be used by Waymo to deliver through autonomous vehicles.
Meanwhile, 7-Eleven is Japan Seven & I Holdings Co unit. Chain’s Chief Digital Officer, Raghu Mahadevan said, “7-Eleven has owned and defined convenience since 1927. Our first foray into autonomous delivery was in 2016 when 7-Eleven became the first retailer in the US to make a drone delivery to a customer’s house. Since then, we haven’t stopped looking for ways to redefine convenience for our customers inside and outside the four walls of our stores. Fast forward to 2021, and we are pushing the boundaries of innovation even further to provide customers with the first commercial autonomous delivery service in California. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.”