Jun 15, 2021 - Economy

FedEx to test Nuro's robot cars for package delivery

Image of a man taking a FedEx box out of a driverless Nuro vehicle

FedEx will test and deploy Nuro's driverless vehicles for last-mile package deliveries. Photo: Nuro

FedEx says it will test package deliveries using autonomous vehicles under a new multi-year partnership with Nuro, a leading self-driving startup.

Why it matters: The explosion of e-commerce has accelerated demand for reliable, autonomous transportation throughout the supply chain, FedEx says. With Nuro, it will explore different uses for AVs, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries.

Details: The pilot started in April in Houston, where Nuro has already been running pilots delivering groceries and pizza with Kroger, Dominos and others. But the FedEx collaboration is Nuro's first foray into parcel logistics.

  • "Over time, we’ll test and deploy Nuro’s robots together and grow to a scale that will be transformative for logistics and for everyday life," Dave Ferguson, Nuro's co-founder, wrote in a blog post.
  • Rather than displacing workers, Nuro's AVs will streamline work for FedEx employees "by taking on inefficient deliveries, finding new ways to move parcels, and adding new capacity to support rapidly growing demand."

The bottom line: Logistics companies like FedEx and UPS continue to experiment with new technologies like robots and drones to make deliveries more efficiently.

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