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Nuro, the self-driving delivery company started in 2016 by a trio of Google veterans, is moving into the pizza game. Later this year, Nuro’s robot will start delivering Domino’s pies and cheesy breads to customers in the Houston area.
The robot in question is the R2, the yet-to-be-revealed version of Nuro’s R-1 vehicle, which is about half the size of a sedan and resembles an avant garde handbag. It’s made exclusively for carrying goods—there’s nowhere for a human to fit, let alone drive. Since last year, it has been moving groceries for Kroger in Scottsdale, Arizona, and in Houston. For this Domino’s deal, hungry robophobes can opt for a human delivery. Those OK with the robot will be issued a code to enter into a screen on the bot that opens one of its two compartments so they can collect their melted cheese and whatnot.
Alex - Davies - Vehicles - Transportation - Machines
Alex Davies covers autonomous vehicles and other transportation machines for WIRED.
For Domino’s, the Nuro deal is just the latest in a long string of tech-enabled delivery tactics. In 2017, it ran a short pilot with Ford’s autonomous vehicles in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and worked with Starship Technologies to greet its customers with sidewalk delivery robots in Europe. The year before that, in New Zealand, it used drones to move its pies through the skies. Because while you may think of it as the joint that kept you from starving after the college cafeteria closed, Domino’s is in fact an international logistics giant—one facing a driver shortage, with about 10,000 positions open in the US. It’s hoping robots, drones, or whatever else scoots out of Silicon Valley can help.
Nuro - Share - Details - Deal - Softbank
Nuro declined to share the financial details of the deal, but considering it raised $940 million from Softbank in February, it’s likely not too worried about what it can make...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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