Nuro has received the first-ever autonomous vehicle deployment permit from the state of California, according to a press release.
That will let the company launch a self-driving vehicle service for deliveries in the state. The deliveries will start with automated Priuses before moving introducing the company’s own autonomous vehicle, R2, the release stated.
Dave Ferguson, Nuro’s co-founder and president, said the permit is a milestone for the company.
“The California DMV is a leader in safety standards, and we appreciate their collaboration and safety-first approach to AV regulation,” he said, according to the release. “Since founding Nuro over four years ago, we’ve been working towards the day we could launch a delivery service in our home state. Now that we have the permit, we are thrilled to be able to do so, providing our fellow Californians a convenient and affordable way to access the food, beverages, prescription medicines, and other products they need.”
Nuro has already run tests of its R2 on California roads, and the permit will now let the company partner with new and existing retailers to operate deliveries.
In other news, Nuro has acquired Ike, which works to automate long-haul trucking, according to a blog post from Ike. By joining with Nuro, Ike will now have access to the company’s technology and teams to work toward more autonomous vehicle technology.
Ike, founded in 2018, focuses on moving goods and bolstering technology to meet highway-related challenges, according to the post. Ike also licensed its software stack from Nuro, which the company said is a reason the acquisition will bode well, as the two companies are working on similar general projects.
In November, Nuro raised $500 million in a Series C funding round.
The idea of autonomous cars and vehicles used for delivery purposes has been gaining traction as of late. Walmart announced a partnership with Nuro in late 2019 to test autonomous grocery delivery.