(Reuters) – Nuro gets first California OK to charge money for self-driving services
Relying on a remote human operator – who could control multiple autonomous vehicles from miles away – is a step that allows a path to profitability in the emerging field of self-driving technology.
Nuro has been testing autonomous vehicles on California’s roads with safety drivers since 2017, and it was authorized by the state regulators to test two driverless delivery vehicles in nine cities earlier this year.
The company said it would launch a delivery service with a fleet of autonomous Toyota Priuses, and later add its own low-speed R2 vehicle, which has no pedals or steering wheel and only room for packages.
Last month, Nuro raised $500 million in a funding round, driven by a massive boost to e-commerce from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nuro, a privately held firm based in Mountain View, California, was permitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in February to deploy up to 5,000 low-speed electric delivery vehicles in Houston without human controls such as mirrors and steering wheels.