Founded by former Google engineers, the US start-up Nuro is to make goods delivery autonomous and electric. They now launched the next-gen pod, R2, and say they can start testing in Houston within weeks. Regulators have approved a driverless exemption for this.
The exemption granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is for Nuro’s latest low-speed electric vehicle called the R2. The autonomous electric vehicle aims for local delivery service for restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses. The R2 builds on Nuro’s R1. Back in January 2018, it was still a prototype.
Now the company has moved on, and with the exemption, the R2 will soon join Nuro’s fleet of self-driving Prius vehicles in Houston, making deliveries to consumers on public roads, the company said.
The federal exemption allows the E.V. to operate without side-view mirrors, windshield and a rear-view camera that shuts off when driving forward. The list of exceptions is so short as the R2 operates at low speeds. However, there are conditions. Nuro has the exemption for two years and is required to submit reports on the A.V. driving system and notice communities where the R2 will be deployed. The exemption allows Nuro to produce and use no more than 5,000 R2 vehicles during the two-year exemption period.
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