Driverless toaster delivers pizza

❝ In an abandoned lot on the outskirts of Sacramento, R1, a domed gray vehicle half the size of a Toyota Corolla, is practicing driving itself…as other self-driving vehicles do on test courses in Silicon Valley, Detroit, and China. But R1, made by a startup called Nuro, doesn’t need to be as good. It can make a jolting brake if it sees something on the road or cruise untroubled over a small bump — wrinkles that companies building autonomous taxis work tirelessly to remove. Nuro spent less time on this, because its robots aren’t designed to ferry people. “A lot of those problems can be solved when you remove the passenger,” says co-founder Dave Ferguson. “The pizza doesn’t care if you’re going a little slower.”

❝ Almost every company making self-driving cars, including Alphabet’s Waymo, General Motors, and Ford Motor, says the second move will be delivery vehicles. Nuro, whose co-founders spent years on Waymo LLC’s car project when it was still part of Google, is focused on delivery first…

❝ Without human labor costs, Nuro’s robot has a better chance to make on-demand delivery profitable than the string of failed startups that have littered Silicon Valley in recent years…but it will take a little getting used to…for consumers.

RTFA. Poisonally, I can hardly wait for my favorite pizza delivery spot to send one of these to our driveway.

11 thoughts on “Driverless toaster delivers pizza

  1. Chop shop says:

    Say mister, that’s sure a nice little robot. I bet the batteries and stuff must be worth a lot of money – enough for someone to kidnap it maybe …ha, ha, just kidding. So where’s the GPS tracker at?

  2. Roomba says:

    Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars (New York Times)
    “People are lashing out justifiably,” said Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist at City University of New York and author of the book “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.” He likened driverless cars to robotic incarnations of scabs — workers who refuse to join strikes or who take the place of those on strike. “There’s a growing sense that the giant corporations honing driverless technologies do not have our best interests at heart,” Mr. Rushkoff said. “Just think about the humans inside these vehicles, who are essentially training the artificial intelligence that will replace them.” See
    Tempers have flared since a self-driving Über killed a careless human in Arizona last year.

  3. Roomba says:

    “Robots may soon make your FedEx delivery from Walmart, Target and Pizza Hut” Also: Amazon is field testing a delivery system called Amazon Scout in Snohomish County, Washington, kind of a medium-sized cooler on six wheels.
    November 1913. Shreveport, Louisiana. Howard Williams, 13-year-old delivery boy for Shreveport Drug Company.

  4. Roomba says:

    “Domino’s announced today (June 17) that it has entered into a partnership with Nuro, a robotics delivery startup, to test using its robots to transport pizzas from a store in Houston.”
    “Nuro announced an initial funding round in 2018 to help it build small autonomous trucks that could deliver goods, including groceries, flowers, hardware products, or just about anything else that would fit in the robots. The goal eventually is for any small business to be able to rent space in the robots so that they can provide delivery options to consumers where it was infeasible before.”
    “Delivering Pizza Is One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in America” (5/8/15)
    See also “Pizza delivery driver changes homeless man’s life” and “What a Pizza Delivery Driver Sees” (The Atlantic)

    • eideard says:

      Going up online, now. We were chuckling over this one at lunch, today. Poor little fella. Imagine one getting lost and following a road up to a mesa top.

      • Update says:

        June 23, 2022 – Freight technology company Einride announced today that it has received approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to operate its Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles on U.S. public roads. With this approval, Einride will conduct a public road pilot to support operational flows for customer GE Appliances, a Haier company, showcasing the Einride Pod’s purpose-built functionality for future commercialization. The autonomous and electric Einride Pod’s design does not leave room for a driver on board and is instead remotely monitored by a Remote Pod Operator, marking this pilot as an industry first for this new type of vehicle.

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