FedEx Corp. and Nuro LLC yesterday announced a multi-year, multi-phase agreement to test Nuro’s next-generation autonomous delivery vehicle within FedEx's operations. The collaboration between FedEx and Nuro launched in April with a pilot program across the Houston area. The companies said the pilot marks Nuro’s expansion into parcel logistics and enables FedEx to explore use cases for on-road autonomous vehicle logistics, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries.
Not only does FedEx use autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in its logistics facilities, but the Memphis-based company has also been developing a portfolio of autonomous same-day and specialty delivery devices. FedEx has worked with DEKA Development & Research Corp. on the Roxo SameDay Bot, which is designed to operate on sidewalks, while the Nuro is built to run on streets.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” stated Rebecca Yeung, vice president of advanced technology and innovation at Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
Nuro expands funding, deployments
Nuro said it has been developing and testing its self-driving technology for nearly five years, including on-road deployments in Texas, Arizona, and California, as well as industry-first regulatory approvals. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has established partnerships with leading grocery, restaurant, and pharmacy retailers. It claimed that its driverless vehicles can make streets safer and provide convenience.
In November 2020, Nuro raised $500 million in Series C funding. More recently, Chipotle Mexican Grill invested in the company in March, and Dominos is testing Nuro for pizza delivery in Houston.
Nuro said that its collaboration with FedEx is a major step in entering parcel logistics. The exponential growth of e-commerce has accelerated the demand for reliable, autonomous solutions throughout all stages of the supply chain, the partners said.
“Working with FedEx—the global leader in logistics—is an incredible opportunity to rethink every aspect of local delivery,” said Cosimo Leipold, head of partnerships at Nuro. “This multi-year commitment will allow us to truly collaborate and bring Nuro’s powerful technology to more people in new ways, and eventually reach large-scale deployment. Our collaboration will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener.”
FedEx said continued innovation and automation will improve safety, efficiency, and productivity for its more than 570,000 team members. The company has annual revenue of $79 billion and has committed to achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040.
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