Self-driving vehicles are definitely not a hot topic for Motor1.com’s huge global readers base - we know this from our official traffic data. And honestly - this doesn’t surprise us. Just like you, we love beautiful and powerful cars that have an actual steering wheel. Nevertheless, the autonomous feature - at least in some sections of the business - looks inevitable and we have to accept that, like it or not.
If we are talking about delivery vehicles, the truth is driverless vehicles make a lot of sense. With no one in the cabin, these machines can be kept to minimal physical dimensions and could be easier and cheaper to operate than traditional delivery trucks and vans. Nuro, one of the industry’s leaders when it comes to autonomous technologies, has just presented the latest evolution of its delivery vehicle and it has a massive airbag. On the outside.
Gallery: Nuro autonomous delivery vehicle
The machine you see in the gallery above is called simply Nuro and is the third-generation self-driving delivery vehicle from the firm. Its ergonomically-designed compartments can hold almost 500 pounds of groceries and everything is easily accessible through a touchscreen. The vehicle’s HVAC system can keep the food cool to -22 degrees F (-5.5 degrees Celsius) or hot to 116 degrees F (47 degrees Celsuis). Or, to put it simply, the pizza stays hot and the soda stays cold.
While that’s cool and everything, it’s probably not the Nuro’s most interesting feature. Autoliv, an automotive safety systems developer, has designed a special airbag for the zero-occupant vehicle that is installed on the outside of the vehicle, on its front fascia. Its goal is to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. These road users account for more than half of the world’s traffic fatalities every year. And while the idea may seem a little weird at a glance, it makes sense in our eyes.
“Autoliv’s collaboration with Nuro is an excellent example of how we are now combining our core competence and solid industry experience with the development of products for new markets,” Per Lindeberg, VP Mobility Safety Solutions at Autoliv, comments.
For now, Nuro’s new project is more of a concept, though the company is the first to be granted approval for a self-driving vehicle exemption by the U.S. Department of Transportation.