California clears Nuro's driverless cars to start making commercial deliveries

The startup is the first to secure an AV deployment permit from the state's DMV.


It was only earlier this year that delivery service Nuro became the second company to get permission to test fully driverless vehicles in California, and now it can claim another milestone. California’s DMV has granted the state’s first Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Permit to the company. With the regulatory approval in hand, Nuro can begin operating a commercial autonomous vehicle service in California.

Nuro says it will start making deliveries “soon” in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, with an announcement on a partnership with an “established” retail partner to follow. If you hope to see one of its adorable R2 delivery vehicles (pictured above) in action, you’ll have to wait; the startup will first begin shuttling goods with its fleet of autonomous Toyota Prius cars before pressing the R2 into action.

Today’s announcement couldn’t have come at a better time for Nuro. According to data compiled by The New York Times, the two counties where the company’s commercial service will be available first have reported an average of approximately 1,500 daily COVID-19 cases recently. Many in San Mateo and Santa Clara, and indeed much of the state, would likely much rather have their food delivered to them than risk making a trip to the local grocery store.