Nuro’s safety Report

In September, Nuro.ai released their safety report which described their robotic delivery vehicle safety strategy. Nuro was funded by two ex-google engineers, Jiajun Zhu and Dave Ferguson in 2016. They deeply involved in Google Driverless Car project, Waymo now.

Nuro already raised $92 Million in Series A funding rounds led by venture Gaorong Capital and Greylock Partners. Compare with other self-driving cars leaders, like Waymo, UBER and GM, Nuro is a small player. But they have their own approach.

Nuro’s porotype, R1 looks like a brother of Waymo’s Firefly. They have a similar appearance design but huge different in details. R1 is focusing on delivering everything more easily, from groceries to commodity. It can accomplish tasks like recognize stop sign with traffic, traffic light, pedestrian crosswalk, and etc. in their demo footage. However, they tested it in a closed field. It’s not a real world. They surely want to bring their product in real roads but not limited in some low-speed areas in the near future.

They choose robotic delivery vehicle other than a typical self-driving car. It helps them escape from the Trolley problem for a moment. As they mentioned in their safety report, their self-driving robotic delivery vehicle has an ability to self-sacrifice.

a driverless, passenger less vehicle also has the unique opportunity to prioritize the safety of humans, other road users, and occupied vehicles over its contents. [2]

Nuro listed twelve safety elements for their design, including validation methods, human machine interface, post-crash behavior and etc. In order to ensure their vehicle can safely behave in some critical situation, they designed their system with numerous redundancies, like dual braking, dual power, dual steering and redundant computing. A traditional car maker would not make an extra braking system, because they should work even it only has just one. However, redundant safety compute is surely a new requirement for self-driving car. Also, Human machine interface will be important element when the self-driving car have to share the road with people. Right now, Nuro build a sound generator to help notice pedestrians. Some display panels in the front and rear windows can also help in the future.

Nuro also covered the workflow for post-crash behavior. They need a support team to handle collision issues, even though their cars are victims in some cases.

[1] Self-driving delivery startup Nuro releases its voluntary safety report
[2] Delivering Safety: Nuro’sApproach

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