Self-driving delivery startup Nuro is joining forces with Domino’s to start driverless pizza deliveries in Houston, Texas later this year.
Earlier this year, Nuro started delivering groceries to residents in Scottsdale, Arizona and Houston and soon, pizza lovers will be able to have their Domino’s orders delivered by a fully autonomous robo-car. Nuro’s current R1 vehicle is about half as wide as a normal compact car and will soon be phased out in favor of the new-and-improved R2.
The Nuro vehicles may be all-autonomous but chase vehicles are being used to monitor them as they go about their deliveries. Additionally, the robo-cars feature remote technologies to ensure they are always being monitored.
Nuro has only manufactured six examples of its R1 delivery robot but will increase production after recently securing $1 billion in investment from Japanese technology company SoftBank. It also intends on increasing the number of test cars it is using to develop its autonomous software and hardware to about 50 vehicles.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Domino’s has partnered with a company on autonomous pizza delivery services. Back in 2017, Domino’s and Ford conducted a pilot program with self-driving delivery cars.
Nuro was founded by two ex-Google self-driving engineers and the R1 models we’ve seen equipped for grocery deliveries can hold as many as 12 fully-loaded grocery bags. It is likely that the company will modify the R1 for pizza deliveries, perhaps with compartments to ensure that they stay warm in transit.