California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has allowed the startup Nuro to test two driverless delivery vehicles on surface streets within specific, designated parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
It is worth noting that Nuro was the second company to receive such permission from the state, after the Google sister company Waymo.
At the same time, vehicles should not move faster than 25 mph (40 km/h), and their operation is permitted only on roads with a speed limit of no more than 35 mph (56 km/h) under conditions of good visibility. The Nuro R2 is a compact unmanned electric vehicle designed exclusively for unmanned operation. The car does not have a steering wheel, side mirrors, and other attributes of a full-fledged car. The entire free space is filled by the cargo space, which is accessible via flaps on the side. Nevertheless, the creators managed to get permission to manufacture such robocars from the federal authorities.
Nuro has obtained a license to test unmanned delivery vehicles on the road with safety drivers since 2017, but only for the test field. The new permit allows the company to test two light-duty delivery vehicles without drivers behind the wheel in nine cities.
The tests with initially free deliveries in the Google hometown of Mountain View and the surrounding area, however, will only be able to begin after the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in California have ended. As a next step, the company wants to apply for permission for the entire state.