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28 декабря 2020 г. 10:10, США Смотреть на карте

Nuro Ready to Launch Autonomous Delivery Services

A specific group and community in humanity have the curiosity to continue the quest for driverless cars. Many have seen Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report that displays Lexus 2054, an autonomous vehicle with a manual overriding system. Movies and technology always moved concurrently to set a pace with time and humanity’s comfort. Self-driving cars that were once viewed as future technology now have taken shape and are ready to enter into realms of reality. One of the autonomous delivery startups, Nuro, has got clearance from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to launch commercial driverless cars and delivery related-services. Hence, now the public roads in California will witness the concept of autonomous car technology. Let’s explore what it means and how Nuro developed this methodology.


What is the news?

Nuro has got the state’s first approval to make deliveries using autonomous and driverless cars. California’s DMV allowed Nuro to initiate and operate the autonomous delivery service in parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo. Hence, most of the people in Silicon Valley will be able to tap this technology soon. Apart from this, the DMV has imposed certain restrictions on the speed limit. Firstly, autonomous vehicles will be allowed on the surface streets with a speed limit, not going beyond 35 miles an hour. For bots, DMV has fixed this limit to 25 miles per hour (mph). Secondly, Nuro can use these driverless cars or bots only in fair weather conditions. To get approval, Nuro had to integrate and meet several safety standards. These standards and regulations include avoiding hazards, cops interactivity, emergency response system, etc. Once Nuro clears all of them, DMV offers the certification with SAE level 3, 4, and 5.

What enabled Nuro to develop driverless delivery?

Nuro has used modified versions of Toyota Prius sedans. The modified Prius edition is used for testing purposes and grocery delivery as a pilot project in Arizona and Texas. Nuro integrated many techniques to comply with the California Vehicle Code. Nuro also developed a law enforcement interaction plan under DMV to deliver the how-to-use guide. Nuro equipped the autonomous vehicles with the technologies, including camera and image processing, lidar, radar. It helped to design and produce a 360-degree view in the vicinity of the delivery car. After getting driverless exemption from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for its R2 bot, Nuro got the freedom not to have a rear-view camera, side-view mirrors, and windshield.

What are the different SAE levels?

SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) has defined that there are six stages of driving automation. These stages have numerical values ranging from 0 (fully manual) to 5 (fully autonomous), which got the U.S. Department of Transportation adoption and acceptance. 0 represents that there is no sign of automation in the automobiles. Nuro has received level 3 (conditional driving automation), 4 (high driving automation), and 5 (full driving automation). As per the information coming out, most of the Nuro bots and vehicles fall into the fifth category. Level 5 vehicles don’t have steering wheels or accelerators. These autonomous cars and bots are geofence-free, meaning that they can go anywhere and do anything that an experienced human driver does.

Why are autonomous vehicles more complex than drones?

Many can claim that drone technology providers are tapping this for delivery services. Drones can be better to ensure smoother delivery. It has to maintain an air map and air-route that they have to follow. In comparison to this, the programming and hardware integration complexity increases due to the fact that there are more chances of accidents on the roads. Hence, there is a need for massive datasets on which machine learning algorithms will assess the patterns and develop the workability of autonomous vehicles. Also, due to this complex design, there comes rigorous testing and verification. Apart from this, drones may take less transit time to deliver goods to consumers. It is more suitable to use autonomous vehicles as they can deliver voluminous and bulky goods to the consumers and enhance the supply and logistic chain network.


After Nuro gets approval for the autonomous delivery services, other firms, including Amazon, AutoX, Cruise, Waymo, and Zoox, will get the push to move ahead with their plans of autonomous delivery. The autonomous delivery services will show a wide range of potential to use it initially as a pilot project in other parts of the USA. Nuro is also trying to get approval for the commercial ride-hailing services. It may take time as it needs a permit from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

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