Domino’s Pizza made an announcement that it is teaming up with Nuro, the self-driving delivery startup, to begin driverless pizza delivery in Houston, Texas. The startup is known for its custom-built robot cars. The pizza delivery service using Nuro’s driverless cars will commence later this year for selected Houston residents who place their orders online.
Nuro was founded in 2016 by two ex-employees of Google, who were a part of the company’s self-driving team. It has been using its workforce of R1 robotic cars to deliver groceries to customers in Arizona, Scottsdale,and Houston. If everything goes well with Domino’s, it will expand its delivery services to other sectors soon.
Nuro recently raised $1 billion in a funding round from Japanese tech company SoftBank. This added a huge amount of confidence for it to work on self-driving technology and compete with other more established firms exploring self-driving tech. However, it sets itself apart from them as it focuses on food delivery rather than commute. It is one of the few companies which already have its fully operational driverless vehicles on roads.
Nuro’s R1 vehicle is half as wide as a compact sedan. It is shorter than most cars and has no room inside for passengers or drivers. Even though it doesn’t have space for people, the vehicles are not left completely unmonitored. Presently, the companymonitors them by using chase vehicles with human drivers and remote tech as they navigate to make deliveries.
The company will soon be launching its updated version, R2. Nuro has six such vehicles and it plans to manufacture more with the money it has raised.