The US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approved a regulatory exemption for R2, Nuro’s second-generation vehicle.
As the first company to be granted approval for a self-driving vehicle exemption, it’s an important moment for Nuro and a milestone for the industry. Under Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s leadership, DOT is advancing a future of improved safety, mobility, and commerce.
This decision provides regulatory certainty for Nuro to operate their second-generation self-driving vehicle, built to carry packages instead of people.
The custom-designed R2 to enrich local commerce with last-mile delivery of consumer products, groceries, and hot food from local stores and restaurants.
With its specially designed size, weight, pedestrian-protecting front end, operating speed, electric propulsion, and cautious driving habits, R2 is ready to begin service as a socially responsible neighborhood vehicle that you can trust.
In the coming weeks, R2 will begin public road testing to prepare for its first deliveries to customers’ homes with their partners in Houston, Texas. With this vehicle, The company can also bring their service to new cities, so more Americans can benefit from safe, efficient, convenient on-demand deliveries.
R2: The Next Generation of Local Commerce
When founded Nuro, the company set out to build a new class of vehicle, designed purely for transporting things instead of people. A self-driving vehicle, but not just a driver-less vehicle — a passenger-less vehicle. A zero-occupant vehicle.
That journey for the company began with their R1 robot, which launched in Scottsdale, Arizona in December 2018 with Kroger — the first-ever unmanned delivery service for the general public. R1 was a success for the team, their partners, and the thousands of customers threy provided deliveries to over the last year. They learned that this new class of vehicle could provide both convenience and safer streets for families and communities.
With their second-generation vehicle, R2, the company wanted to retain their unique design and the key characteristics — including zero-emission propulsion and a magical customer experience — that made R1 a success. The company also wanted to extend the vehicle’s lifespan, add more cargo space, and handle more varied conditions at a greater, city-wide scale.