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Self-Driving delivery start-up, Nuro acquires funds worth $500 million, thanks to COVID-19 

Nuro R2 unit, self-driving delivery vehicle.

Source: The Robot Report

Nuro is Robotics Company headquartered in the United States of America that aims to accelerate robotics as a tool for everyday life. Keeping this mission as their primary goal, the company has taken its first by developing self-driving delivery cars that are designed to carry only local goods with no driving seat or passenger seats.

The Robotics Company’s R2 unit does not comprise of a steering wheel or room for passengers, if you think it must have got pedals, nope! No pedals or steering wheel. The R2 vehicle only has room for packages and local deliverable goods.

Recently on 9th November, Nuro, the Robotics Company reached a valuation of USD 5 billion after acquiring funds worth USD 500 million as a result of the e-commerce boom that was a consequence of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its following country-wide lockdown procedures.

Well, the truth is that Nuro is not the only company that has benefitted from this e-commerce boom. Earlier this year, the self-driving arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet called Waymo raised USD 3 billion which helped in boosting the total money raised by autonomous car companies in 2020 to be approximately USD 7.1 billion according to a data analysis by PitchBook- a SaaS company that delivers research, data and technical analysis covering various sectors.

These numbers are incredible but still could not match the boom numbers of 2018 which were recorded to be USD 9.5 billion.

Nuro Co-founders: Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu.

Source: Ars Technica

The current funding round of Nuro was led by T. Rowe Price Associates, a global investment management company and the overall participation included existing investors Greylock and SoftBank. There were few new investors in this year’s funding round, Baillie Gifford and Fidelity Management and Research Firm.

Dave Ferguson, co-founder, Nuro mentioned in a statement that the next plan of the company with these freshly acquired funds of $500 Million is to scale up the manufacturing of their self-driving delivery vehicles (R2 unit) and expand their workforce.

Currently, R2 units by Nuro are manufactured with Roush Enterprises in Detroit.

The self-driving delivery unit, R2 currently operates in California, Scottsdale, Houston, Texas and Arizona. Earlier this year, Nuro got approvals from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to deploy over 5000 units of R2 on public roads in over a span of two years, mentioned co-founder Dave Ferguson.

Nuro R2 Unit

Source: TechCrunch

As of now, the robotics company is using Prius cars as their frame to fit Nuro’s self-driving technology which is then used to deliver all local grocery and food products across all operational places.

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