BYD teams up with Nuro to develop self-driving EV delivery vehicle

Nuro’s third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle features greater payload

BYD Co., Ltd. has recently forged a partnership with autonomous vehicle company Nuro to start producing the latter’s third-generation electric self-driving delivery vehicle.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is the BYD-Nuro partnership about?

    The partnership will help the autonomous vehicle company create its third-generation self-driving delivery vehicle.
  • What are the features of the upcoming new model?

    The soon-to-be-created vehicle is said to be more affordable, eco-friendly and will have external airbag as well as a multi-modal sensing suite.
  • In a statement, the partnership is expected to scale Nuro's more affordable, eco-friendly, and convenient services to millions of people across the United States.

    Stella Li, Executive Vice President of BYD Co. Ltd. and President of BYD North America, said that their company will “leverage the manufacturing capacity of our Lancaster plant by finishing assembly of globally sourced hardware components to support Nuro and bring more jobs to the community.”

    “Together we will build this autonomous delivery vehicle, with the mutual goal of creating a safer environment on streets across the United States."

    Nuro’s third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle features greater payload

    The recent announcement follows Nuro's $600 million Series D funding round in the last quarter of 2021 and was led by Tiger Global Management with participation from other investors.

    Merging the two companies' advanced features, the third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle will have greater payload--doubling the cargo volume of Nuro's current R2 model.

    The upcoming automotive production grade vehicle will also be equipped with modular inserts to customize storage and new temperature-controlled compartments to keep goods warm or cool.

    Further, soon-to-be-built model will be fitted with an external airbag to further improve safety for pedestrians, as well as a multi-modal sensing suite, including cameras, radars, lidar, and thermal cameras, creating a redundant 360-degree view.

    Founded in 2016, Nuro was built by Jiajun Zhu and Dave Fergusonformer principal engineers of Google's self-driving car team.

    Nuro’s third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle features greater payload

    Nuro has already introduced two generations of autonomous vehicles that were utilized by industry leaders including Domino's, Kroger, and 7-Eleven.

    “BYD is one of the largest OEM networks of electric vehicles in the world, and we are thrilled to partner with them to help us move one step closer to scaled commercial operations," Nuro co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jiajun Zhu was quoted as saying.

    “We look forward to transforming the hardware components of BYD's globally sourced electric vehicle platform into innovative autonomous vehicles capable of operating on public roads at our new facility here in America. Through our partnership with BYD, we plan to produce autonomous vehicles at scale that can improve road safety, air quality, and overall access to goods."

    For the aforementioned project, BYD will be responsible for vehicle manufacturing and initial vehicle testing, and will provide the hardware such as Blade Battery, electric motors, electronic controls, and displays for human-machine interaction.

    “Nuro integrates technologies such as autonomous driving, control modules and sensors. BYD will finish assembly of the hardware platform at its Lancaster plant in the United States using globally sourced components. Nuro will then complete the vehicle manufacturing process by installing and testing the autonomy systems that will make the platform capable of operation at the company's new facilities in southern Nevada,” the company explained.

    Photos from BYD

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