Self-driving delivery van ditches 'human controls'

Self-driving delivery van ditches 'human controls'

The first self-driving car designed without basic human controls, such as steering wheels, pedals or side mirrors, was allowed to test on US roads.

Nuro, a design company, manufactures autonomous delivery vans.

The car is the second generation of Nuro cars, which it calls the R2 and will be tested in Houston, Texas.

This is the first exception to the rule requiring vehicles to have controls for human operators.

Most vehicle inspection rules require features that allow the driver to safely control them.

But a statement by US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says that, given that the car’s top speed is limited to 25 miles per hour, these requirements "no longer make sense."

The Department of Transportation (DoT) will also strengthen testing control.

It will require Nuro to communicate R2 performance information and contact the communities where the car will be tested.

On his blog, Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson said the decision was “a milestone for the industry.”

“Moving forward, we must modernize the existing rules, which never provided for a vehicle without a driver or passengers, and everyone in the industry should work to ensure that self-driving technology is tested and deployed in the safest vehicles,” he wrote .

General Motors also requested an exception to test its Chevy bolt.

DoT has not yet announced its decision at the request of the firm. The bolt, however, has a higher maximum speed than the Nuro R2.

Image CopyrightNURO
New design
Nuro cars are designed to work without a driver or passengers.

In its R2 design, the company removed side mirrors and a windshield.

He will also constantly work with a rear view camera. This is not permitted without exception from DoT, as the camera can distract human drivers.

The car has an egg-shaped frame, which is smaller than most cars in the United States. It also has two temperature-controlled compartments for delivery. Doors rise to reveal objects after the recipient enters the code.

R2 uses a radar, thermal imager and 360-degree cameras to control its movement.

Nuro announced that R2 will supply pizza for Domino's Pizza, Kroger supermarket chain products and Walmart products during a test in Houston.

While testing its initial R1 design, the firm delivered supplies to Kroger in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Nuro was founded by two former Google engineers and is funded by the Japanese company Softbank.

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