A California startup has received two Christmas gifts at once. Mountain View-based startup Nuro, which makes autonomous delivery robots that can drive on the road, has both acquired autonomous truck startup Ike and become the first company licensed by the California DMV to operate a driverless delivery robot on all public roads in California. But first, in order.
First, Nuro, with a valuation of five billion dollars and more than 600 employees, is now acquiring autonomous truck technology maker Ike. The startup employs about 60 people and had a valuation of about $250 million last year, sources said. Both companies see synergies in their technologies, allowing Nuro to offer a broader range al delivery vehicles and delivery robots.
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And then second, Nuro became the first company in California to receive a license not only to test driverless vehicles on public roads – of which, in addition to Nuro, Waymo, GM Cruise, Zoox and AutoX also held such licenses to date – but also to offer its services commercially. According to Nuro, this means there would be no more so-called chase-vehicles than vehicles with Nuro employees following and monitoring the delivery robot. In the next few weeks, commercial operations are still expected to begin first with the autonomous Priuses, and then with the Nuro R2 delivery robots. The company has tested this in three other cities so far.
This article was also published in German.