Nuro R2 - The Road To Autonomy

Future of Local Commerce

Greg Rogers, Public Policy Manager, Nuro joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss the future of local commerce.

The conversation begins with Greg discussing Nuro’s plan for the new manufacturing facility and test track in Las Vegas, Nevada. The facility will employ 250 individuals and generate as much as $2.2 billion in economic benefits for Nevada in the first 10 years.

This is the first such factory in America which will have the capacity to manufacture tens of thousands of autonomous delivery vehicles.

– Greg Rogers

With the factory being built to manufacture and scale the autonomous delivery robots, Grayson asks Greg what has to be done from a policy perspective to ensure that the company can scale. As Nuro looks at policy, the company was one of the founders of the SAVE Coalition with Zoox and Local Motors.

Often new technologies that are transformational do not look like anything that came before it.

– Greg Rogers

As autonomous vehicle technology and electric vehicle battery technology merge, an opportunity arises to completely rethink the design of vehicles. This is exactly what Nuro is doing with the R2. The R2 was designed from the ground up for delivery.

In Houston, Texas, Nuro’s R2 is actively autonomously delivering pizzas through a partnership with Dominos. The R2 is bringing smiles and joy to the residents of Houston as the robot becomes part of the community.

R2 is designed to be a friendly introduction to autonomous vehicles.

– Greg Rogers

Besides pizzas, FedEx packages are being delivered in Houston with the R2. It is important to note that Nuro’s partnership with FedEx is a multi-year, multi-phase agreement that is revenue-generating for Nuro.

Since the structure of this partnership is uncommon in the autonomous vehicle industry as it is not a pilot, Grayson asks Greg how Nuro was able to secure this deal.

We have a goods-only focus. That is a benefit. We are laser-focused on delivery. The companies that we are partnering with are laser-focused on delivery as part of their business model.

Since delivery is our business as it is with our partners, we do not look at delivery as an alternative go-to-market plan. We do not look it at something that we dabble in. Our partners know that our interest unequivocally aligns with theirs.

– Greg Rogers

Shifting the conversation to a personal level, Greg discusses growing up in the Central Valley of California and the impact it had on him.

It’s ground zero for food insecurity. The breadbasket of the world is actually where a lot of people struggle with hunger.

– Greg Rogers

Wanting to pursue a career in politics, Greg moved to Washington, D.C. After quitting his job as a political consultant, Greg started driving for Lyft and Uber full-time and blogged about his experience. During these rides, Greg noticed a trend of individuals ordering rides to grocery stores. With the autonomous delivery of groceries, individuals will save money and time, all the while having a positive impact on society.

Wrapping up the conversation, Greg shares his thoughts on the future of mobility.

More mobility is a good thing.

– Greg Rogers

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Recorded on Tuesday, October 19, 2021