This self-driving delivery vehicle has airbags on the outside
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Autonomous vehicles are an interesting topic. As technology advances, these cars are only getting smarter and smarter.
As delivery vehicles, self-driving cars make a lot of sense. With no one in the cabin, they can be kept as small as possible, making them easier and cheaper to operate than traditional delivery trucks and vans.
Nuro, one of the industry’s leaders when it comes to autonomous technologies, has recently revealed the latest evolution of its delivery vehicle which features a humongous airbag. But it's not where you'd expect it to be.
The airbag is situated outside the vehicle, on its front fascia. It was specially designed for the occupant-less autonomous car, with the goal of protecting vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
While it seems like a weird feature, it actually makes a lot of sense as these road users account for more than half of the world’s traffic fatalities every year.
Other than the massive external airbag, the vehicle's ergonomically-designed compartments can hold almost 225kg. Everything is accessible through an easy to get to touchscreen, and the HVAC system can keep the food as cool as -5.5 degrees Celsius or as hot as 47 degrees Celsius.
Per Lindeberg, VP Mobility Safety Solutions at Autoliv says “Autoliv’s collaboration with Nuro is an excellent example of how we are now combining our core competence and solid industry experience with the development of products for new markets.”
The project is currently a concept, but the company is the first to be granted approval for a self-driving vehicle exemption by the U.S. Department of Transportation.