Nuro's driverless pods to start delivering groceries this year
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Households in Houston will soon be able to order their groceries and have them delivered by unmanned delivery pods.
Robotics company Nuro and the United State's largest grocery retailer Kroger, are introducing the new service later this year.
Customers will be able to make their order online, and have their groceries delivered by the Nuro R1 driverless pod.
Initially the trial service will involve autonomous Toyota Prius cars, but once more Nuro R1 driverless pods are produced, these will take over.
Nuro co-founder and president Dave Ferguson said: “Initially, we are going to start delivering with our self-driving Prius vehicles, so these are passenger vehicles just like regular Priuses that we’ve added sensing and computing to so they can drive themselves. There will still be safety drivers in them.”
The pods have already been trialled in Arazona, where they are operating successfully on a small scale.
The self-driving pod is around 1,830 mm high and about half the width of a sedan. Weighing in at 680 kg it’s designed to carry only cargo, with enough space for 12 grocery bags.
Nuro was founded by two ex-Google self-driving engineers, and recently received a $1USbillion cash infusion from Japanese tech company SoftBank.