Nuro, a start-up making autonomous delivery robot vehicles, announced Thursday that it’s building a factory and a closed course test track in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company, founded by two ex-Google engineers, looks to spend $40 million on new facilities as it plans for the future.
Both the factory and test track will be located in Southern Nevada, and Nuro confirmed it’s taking over 74 acres of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the test track. Currently, Nuro is one of only a few companies that operate fully autonomous vehicles on public roads. Its current R2 vehicle doesn’t even have room inside for a human passenger. The R2 is half the size of a typical compact sedan, and eventually, the space inside will house packages from FedEx for autonomous deliveries.
Once the new facilities in Las Vegas are fully operational sometime in 2022, the company plans to produce and test its upcoming R3 vehicle on the grounds.
These days, Nuro’s driverless delivery service is only available in select locations including, Houston, Phoenix, and Silicon Valley locations, and hopefully, this means areas of Las Vegas might be next.
Nuro says its $40 million investment in Nevada will translate into $2.2 billion of “economic impact” within 10 years, not to mention create roughly 250 jobs.
As more R2 and eventually the R3 vehicles get on the road, customers will be able to choose driverless delivery as an option while checking out with Nuro’s retail partners. Then, customers will get notifications as the delivery is en route and a final alert with the access code used to open the vehicle and collect their order.
Along with FedEx, we could eventually see deliveries through Walmart, Chipotle, CVS, Kroger, Domino’s, and more, as they’ve all tested the Nuro delivery platform.
via The Verge