Automotive

Nuro makes first unmanned grocery delivery in Arizona

Nuro makes first unmanned groc...
Nuro's R1 self-driving electric delivery pod has made the first completely unmanned grocery deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona
Nuro's R1 self-driving electric delivery pod has made the first completely unmanned grocery deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona
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The R1 self-driving electric delivery pod underwent testing on the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona, in November, 2018
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The R1 self-driving electric delivery pod underwent testing on the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona, in November, 2018
Prior to going into service, the R1 self-driving delivery pod was tested on private roads for over a year
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Prior to going into service, the R1 self-driving delivery pod was tested on private roads for over a year
Nuro's R1 self-driving electric delivery pod has made the first completely unmanned grocery deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona
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Nuro's R1 self-driving electric delivery pod has made the first completely unmanned grocery deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona

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.

The R1 self-driving electric delivery pod underwent testing on the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona, in November, 2018
The R1 self-driving electric delivery pod underwent testing on the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona, in November, 2018

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.

Source: Nuro

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4 comments
guzmanchinky
I love how we are on the cusp of these technologies that will be completely commonplace very very soon. It's like the smartphone revolution, at first they were her and there, hardly anyone had one, and now everyone has one.
PAV
So they can only do one customer at a time? What if you're not home or you can't get to the car it's just going to wait there until you can things come up during the day how does it deal with that perhaps it needs to drop the groceries off at the front door somehow. This technology has a long way to go to operate in the real world.
Username
Does this thing only deliver one order at a time? Is it refrigerated? What's it's range? Do you have to stay home all day waiting for it?
toyhouse
It'll be a fantastic thing for the elderly or shut-in's as shown in the video, (if they can afford it),. On the flip-side, commercial drivers have a decade or two of job security? This tech will displace a fantastic amount of humans in the workforce as commercial driving is the number number one job by numbers, globally - so I've read. The handwriting is on the wall. And in our lifetimes, driving itself, may become illegal as some have already predicted.