On January 17, BYD Co., Ltd. announced collaboration with renowned autonomous vehicle manufacturer Nuro to commence mass production of the company's third-generation electric autonomous delivery vehicle. The cooperation is projected to expand Nuro's cheap, environmentally friendly, and convenient services to millions of consumers nationwide.
"BYD will leverage the manufacturing capacity of our Lancaster plant by finishing assembly of globally sourced hardware components to support Nuro and bring more jobs to the community,Together we will build this autonomous delivery vehicle, with the mutual goal of creating a safer environment on streets across the United States."
-Stella Li, Executive Vice President of BYD Co. Ltd. and President of BYD North America
This news follows Nuro's $600 million Series D fundraising round, headed by Tiger Global Management with participation from additional investors and concluded in Q4 2021.
Nuro's third-generation autonomous delivery truck, which will combine the superior technology of both partners, will have a larger payload and enhanced safety features. With twice the cargo capacity of Nuro's existing R2 model, the automotive production-grade vehicle will also have modular storage inserts and new temperature-controlled chambers to keep items warm or cold. In addition, external airbags provide additional protection for pedestrians outside the car, as does a multi-modal sensor suite comprised of cameras, radars, lidar, and thermal cameras that create a redundant 360-degree picture of the world.
Nuro was formed in 2016 by Jiajun Zhu and Dave Ferguson, two former Google self-driving vehicle team lead engineers. Nuro has deployed two generations of autonomous cars, initiated delivery services with industry heavyweights such as Domino's, Kroger, and 7-Eleven, and announced a multi-year relationship with FedEx.
"BYD is one of the largest OEM networks of electric vehicles in the world, and we are thrilled to partner with them to help us move one step closer to scaled commercial operations, At our new facility here in America, we look forward to transforming the hardware components of BYD’s globally sourced electric vehicle platform into innovative autonomous vehicles capable of operating on public roads at our new facility. Through our partnership with BYD, we plan to produce autonomous vehicles at a scale that can improve road safety, air quality, and overall access to goods."
-Jiajun Zhu, Nuro co-founder, and CEO
As a market leader in the NEV sector, BYD has pioneered several electrification technologies. BYD is collaborating with Nuro on vehicle development, manufacture, and early vehicle testing and providing hardware such as the Blade Battery, electric motors, electronic controllers, and displays for human-machine interfaces. Nuro is a technology platform that includes autonomous driving, control modules, and sensors. BYD will complete the construction of the hardware platform in its Lancaster, California, factory using components purchased from around the world. Nuro will subsequently finish the vehicle production process by installing and testing the autonomous technologies required operating the platform at the company's new facility in southern Nevada.