Nuro's third-gen driverless delivery vehicle includes an external airbag

The driverless machine also hauls twice as much cargo.

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Nuro third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle
Nuro

Nuro already has a third driverless delivery vehicle on the way, and this model is focused as much on protecting others as it is hauling goods. The newly introduced version, simply called Nuro, includes a host of 360-degree sensors including cameras, LiDAR, radar and thermals, but also includes a giant external airbag to protect pedestrians. We still wouldn't risk stepping in front of this machine (you'll still hit the ground, after all), but this should reduce the chances of a serious injury.

The new vehicle also carries twice the cargo, and offers both temperature-controlled compartments and modular inserts to help shuttle a wider variety of goods. Nuro didn't say when this latest self-driving vehicle would be ready, but the North American branch of China's BYD will help produce units at a Nuro factory due to go online later in 2022. Kroger (an investor in Nuro) has already committed to using this latest hardware.

Nuro third-gen vehicle carrying Kroger groceries
Nuro

The upgrade might be necessary. Nuro already has deals and tests with major brands like 7-Eleven, CVS, FedEx and Kroger, but it's facing stiffer competition from Walmart, Uber and automakers like Ford. The firm risks losing business if would-be customers either need larger payloads or are worried about liability in the event of a collision.

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