The United States’ third largest state, California has authorized for commercial driverless delivery service starting s early as next year.
Nuro, a robotics start-up would begin driverless delivery operations Its vehicles are designed to operate without a driver or passengers in them.
It had previously tested its R2 vehicles in April, but the permit would allow it to charge the public for its services. The R2 uses radar, thermal imaging and 360-degree cameras to direct its movement. And it lacks a steering wheel, pedals or side-view mirrors.
These vehicles have their speed capped at 56 kilometers per hour (km/h) and would be restricted to operations only during fair weather.
The vehicle has an egg-shaped frame that is smaller than most cars in the US. It also has two temperature-controlled compartments for deliveries. Doors raise up to reveal the items once a code has been entered by the recipient.
During trials R2 delivered pizza for Domino’s Pizza, groceries from supermarket chain Kroger and goods for Walmart.
Nuro was founded by two former Google engineers and has funding from Japanese firm Softbank.
“Issuing the first deployment permit is a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous vehicles in California,” said California Department of Motor Vehicles director Steve Gordon.
“We will continue to keep the safety of the motoring public in mind as this technology develops.”