The pandemic has boosted the demand for food delivery, a trend that could be permanent. That would be good news for Nuro, a startup that’s making small, self-driving delivery vehicles. The company has so far ferried groceries and prescriptions for Kroger and CVS, and plans to run trials with Walmart and Domino’s.
With how much some of the best-funded autonomous-vehicle companies have struggled with creating ride-hailing services, Nuro’s narrower focus seems prescient. The company’s vehicles don’t carry human passengers, which means they don’t have to worry about striking the tricky balance between safety and comfort.
“Our vehicles can prioritize the well-being of others on the road without compromise,” Nuro cofounder and CEO Jiajun Zhu tells Business Insider.
Even amid a global pandemic, today’s most popular delivery services may seem like a luxury for those who can’t afford to pay an extra $10 in fees and tips for each meal. Nuro hopes to one day make its service as accessible as possible by eliminating delivery fees entirely.
“We know that many underserved communities do not have access to grocery stores,” Zhu says. “That’s why we built Nuro, to make it easier, more affordable, and accessible for people to get groceries, food, prescriptions, and other things they need.”