Self-Driving Vehicles Better For Moving Things Than People

The road to autonomous vehicles is heating up, but the action -- smartly -- is starting to focus on moving things rather than people.

Companies like Kroger, 1-800-Flowers, Softbank and Amazon get this, since they all are involved in exploring autonomous technology for deliveries.

Serious money is heading that way as well:

  • $95 million – Raised by self-driving truck startup TuSimple. The trucking company already makes daily fully autonomous deliveries in Arizona with plans to expand into Texas.
  • $52 million – Autonomous truck company Ike raised the funds to further its development of self-driving trucks on highways. Ike last year partnered with Nuro, another maker of self-driving vehicles.
  • $530 million – Raised by autonomous technology developer Aurora from investors including Amazon, which just last week led an investment round of $700 million for Rivian, a Michigan startup working on electric pickup trucks.
  • $940 million – The amount Softbank is investing in Nuro, the robotics company that makes self-driving vehicles for deliveries.

There are other deals in addition to the funding of autonomous startups.

For example, Volvo Trucks has a deal to provide self-driving trucks for the automatic transportation of limestone for Bronnoy Kalk AS in Norway. Last year, Waymo and its parent Google took their self-driving trucks to Georgia for a pilot carrying cargo bound for Google’s data centers.

Various companies are also experimenting with autonomous delivery of things they sell. For example, 1-800-Flowers tested robots from Starship Technologies to deliver flowers with the small self-driving vehicles and Kroger has started the unmanned delivery of groceries to the general public with the R1, Nuro’s unmanned vehicle.

Getting people into self-driving cars is problematic, even if there were fully autonomous vehicles they could use.

Things are much easier.

1 comment about "Self-Driving Vehicles Better For Moving Things Than People".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , February 18, 2019 at 7:05 p.m.

    And when all of this "invested" money is said and done, what is it they have, they could not have today?  A fuel efficient delivery truck and driver can get the groceries delivered, TODAY.
    Someone still has to load the self driving grocery cart (Gro-cart), for that matter, someone has to do the shopping,  and you still have the cost of the vehicle.......WHICH NO ONE WILL EVER TELL HOW MUCH!!!   Someone has to monitor it and I will laugh the loudest, when folks can figure out they hi-jack the "Gro-cart"
    and take the grub.  How will that be stopped? it has to dodge traffic obstacles, so you could lasso it like a calf.....................that will be funny
    Opps, i just discovered my sinister side.

    These folks need to stand back, and look at the Big Picture............dumb and dumber idea

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