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Founded2016; 5 years ago (2016)
Key people
Number of employees

Nuro is an American robotics company based in Mountain View, California and founded by Jiajun Zhu and Dave Ferguson.[1] Nuro develops autonomous delivery vehicles, and was the first company to receive an autonomous exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since its vehicles are designed to carry goods instead of humans.[2] The R2 model is designed with no steering wheel, side view mirrors, or pedals. [3]


The company was founded by engineers of Google's self driving car project, Waymo. Zhu served as the principal software engineer and Ferguson joined in 2011 as the principal machine learning engineer.[4][5] Zhu and Ferguson left Waymo in 2016 and founded Nuro that September.[6]

Nuro brought its robotic delivery vehicles to market in January 2018 with $92 million in funding from Greylock Partners and Gaorong Capital.[7]

In February 2019 Nuro raised $940 million from SoftBank Group, which valued the company at $2.7 billion. Nuro said it will use the funds to expand its delivery service to new areas, add new partners, expand its fleet and grow its business.[8] In September 2019, the company was ranked No.10 on LinkedIn's Top 50 Startups List for 2019.[9]

In November 2020, Nuro announced that they raised $500 million in their Series C funding round led by T. Rowe Price, with a post-money valuation of $5 billion.[10]

In December 2020, Nuro acquired self-driving trucking startup Ike Robotics.[11] Over 55 Ike's employees (including its 3 founders) joined Nuro's staff after acquisition.[12][13]


In June 2018, Nuro announced its first partnership with Kroger to test the fully autonomous delivery of groceries.[14][15] On June 17, 2019 Nuro announced its partnership with Domino's Pizza.[16] Nuro and Domino's announced that the service would launch in Houston later in 2019.[17] The company began prescription delivery through CVS Pharmacy in May 2020.[18]


Nuro officially launched in January 2018, revealing its first product, the R1. The R1 is an electric self-driving local commerce delivery vehicle. It weighs 1,500 pounds (680 kg), and is just over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and about half the width of a sedan. This vehicle is designed to carry only cargo, with space for 12 grocery bags in the first model.[19] The pilot launched on August 16, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona at a Fry's Food and Drug store. Initially, self-driving Toyota Prius cars were used for the pilot.[20][21][22] On December 18, 2018, the R1, a custom unmanned vehicle, was launched into the pilot.[23] In February 2020, Nuro announced its plans to test R2, the second generation of self-driving vehicles, in Houston, Texas.[24] In April 2020, Nuro announced that the R2 prototype was being used to transport medical supplies around medical facilities in California.[25]


  1. ^ "Two ex-Google engineers built an entirely different kind of self-driving car". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  2. ^ "Autonomous delivery companies stress need for clearer rules on deployment". VentureBeat. 2020-05-22. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  3. ^ "Autonomous delivery companies stress need for clearer rules on deployment". 2020-02-06. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  4. ^ "Get Yer Bread and Milk From Kroger's Cute New Delivery Robot". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  5. ^ "Nuro's Driverless Cars Don't Have to Worry About Passenger Safety". Bloomberg. June 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "Meet the startup that two of Google's top self-driving engineers left to create". Recode. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  7. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "California start-up Nuro unveils autonomous delivery van, raises..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  8. ^ "Driverless delivery startup Nuro gets $940 million SoftBank investment". Reuters. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  9. ^ "LinkedIn Top Startups 2019: The 50 hottest U.S. companies to work for now". Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  10. ^ "Autonomous delivery startup Nuro hits $5 billion valuation on fresh funding of $500 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  11. ^ Cromwell, Schubarth (2020-12-23). "Self-driving delivery unicorn Nuro picks up Ike Robotics". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  12. ^ "Nuro acquires autonomous trucking startup Ike". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  13. ^ Wiggers, Kyle (2020-12-23). "Nuro acquires self-driving truck startup Ike". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Self-driving car startup Nuro teams up with Kroger for same-day grocery delivery". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  16. ^ Davies, Alex (2019-06-18). "Nuro's Pizza Robot Will Bring You a Domino's Pie". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  17. ^ Murphy, Mike. "Dominos is about to start delivering pizzas with autonomous robots". Quartz. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  18. ^ Nuro's self-driving vehicles to deliver prescriptions for CVS Pharmacy
  19. ^ "Nuro's Self-Driving R-1 Doesn't Drive You—It Drives Your Stuff". Wired.
  20. ^ "The Toyota Prius Will Drive Itself Before Any Tesla". CarBuzz. 2020-12-26. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  21. ^ "Nuro and Kroger are deploying self-driving cars for grocery delivery in Arizona today". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  22. ^ Pollack, Neal. "Road-Testing the First Autonomous Car Grocery Delivery Service". The Drive. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  23. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (2018-12-18). "Kroger-owned grocery store begins fully driverless deliveries". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  24. ^ "Self-driving delivery van ditches 'human controls'". BBC News. 6 February 2020.
  25. ^ Hawkins, Andrew (2020-04-22). "Nuro is using delivery robots to help health care workers fighting COVID-19 - The self-driving delivery company is operating at two field hospitals in California". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-10-27.

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