American robotics company Nuro issued an announcement on Wednesday regarding its third generation of pure electric driverless delivery vehicle, jointly designed and developed alongside Chinese automaker BYD. The project was officially launched in August 2019 and is planned to enter the mass production stage in early 2023.
In fulfilment of its part of the cooperation agreement, BYD is responsible for vehicle development, testing and manufacturing, as well as for providing core components such as blade batteries, motors and electronic controls. Nuro, on the other hand, provides automated driving technology, gateway technology, control modules and sensors.
Vehicle production is carried out by BYD’s factories in China, and the assembly of vehicle power batteries and automated driving parts is completed by BYD’s manufacturing plant in Lancaster, U.S.
Relying on the technologies of both parties, this third generation of automated driving distribution vehicle features greater carrying capacity and higher safety. The new model can support twice the freight volume of the previous model, and is equipped with partitions to give users more flexible storage space.
The vehicle is also equipped with a temperature control compartment to ensure that goods are stored at the proper temperature. In addition, it has external airbags and multi-mode sensing kits, including cameras, lidars and thermal imaging cameras, which can sense the surrounding environment in all directions and ensure the safety of the vehicle and pedestrians.
Nuro was founded in Silicon Valley in 2016 by Zhu Jiajun and Dave Ferguson, former engineers of Google’s self-driving car team. The company focuses on the R&D of autonomous freight vehicles and has launched two generations of automated driving delivery vehicles for services applicable to restaurants, grocery stores and others.
Up to now, Nuro has successfully completed trial operations of automated distribution within various community settings in Texas, Arizona and California.