Back in August, Nuro partnered with supermarket retailer Kroger to make autonomous grocery deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona. Initially, the pilot program made use of a fleet of self-driving Prius hybrids, but now the first unmanned deliveries have been made with Nuro's R1 pod.
Nuro says that since launching the Scottsdale pilot, around a thousand deliveries have been made by the self-driving Prius cars, which had a human in the driver's seat to deal with any issues that arose, and has received top marks in customer satisfaction ratings.
While all this was going on, Nuro's engineers busied themselves tweaking the fully autonomous R1 pod for service. The vehicle is reported to feature "world-class self-driving software and sensing hardware, redundancy across every critical driving system, and a lighter and nimbler footprint than a standard car."
After testing on private roads for over a year, the R1 made its on-the-streets debut in Scottsdale last month. Now Nuro has revealed that the first Fry's Food Stores customers have received their orders courtesy of the unmanned all-electric delivery pod.
After placing an order online or through a mobile app, bags of groceries are loaded into the lockers and the R1 rolls out to make its deliveries. When it arrives at a scheduled stop, the customer punches in a code and the locker door opens to reveal the bagged order ready for retrieval.
The R1 is constantly monitored throughout its journeys and remote operators can take over at any time, and there are redundant systems and safety backups in place to ensure smooth sailing. Nuro says that the Scottsdale pilot is just an important first step, and plans to roll out more vehicles in more cities and add more services in the future.
You can see the R1 deliver goods to the first Fry's customers in the video below.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more