Nuro is the first company in California to allow autonomous cars commercially. The company received a permit earlier in the year that gave it permits to test its robots. Interestingly, this permit also allows the company to actually charge people for its service. Nuro's chief legal officer has already said in a Medium blog post that the start-up is preparing to announce the deployment of the service in California commercially with an established partner.
"Today, we are proud to share that Nuro has become the first company to receive a permit to deploy autonomous vehicles on public streets from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This permit will allow our vehicles to operate commercially on California roads in two counties near our headquarters in the Bay Area. Soon we will announce our first deployment in California with an established partner. The service will start with our fleet of Prius vehicles in fully autonomous mode, followed by our custom-designed electric R2 vehicles," said David Estrada, who is its chief legal officer.
Nuro has completely driverless Toyota Prius vehicles though soon the company also has plans of deploying its custom R2 bots later in the year.
The California DMV has allowed the company to operate its delivery service in parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties - which covers a big chunk of Silicon Valley, though this doesn't include San Francisco and Oakland.
There are some restrictions in place as well. The robot cars are only allowed to travel at 56.3 km/h and that too on surface streets. These vehicles are also only allowed to run in fair weather conditions.
As is the case with many autonomous car start-ups, the founders have roots in Google's self-driving project which morphed into Waymo. Waymo pioneered self-driving car technology and is the only other player to get a permit to test driverless cars in California. It has also started a ride-sharing service in Phoenix.