Nuro, an autonomous driving firm, has designed an airbag-equipped delivery van that can protect cyclists and pedestrians on public roads and sidewalks in the unlikely event of an accident.
Nuro says that the smaller design, which is 20% less broad than the ordinary passenger vehicle, is “ready to be built at scale” and provides enough space for pedestrians and bikes. In addition, a “custom external pedestrian airbag across the front of the bot” is included to “lower the force of impact and amount of injuries in the case of a collision,” which is rather remarkable.
A excellent idea, since the cart can reach 45 mph, which is twice as fast as the typical bicycle when given ample room to manoeuvre.
Nuro’s statement makes no mention of the vehicle ever rolling along sidewalks, yet given its main role, it will inevitably come into contact with people. A 360-degree field of vision ensures that the car does not crash into somebody in the first place.
“About 24 bags of groceries” or “up to 500 pounds of stuff” may fit in the vehicle’s 27-square-foot cargo area. Depending on the cargo, it may even lower the temperature to a chilly 22 degrees Fahrenheit or raise it to a hot 116 degrees Fahrenheit.
Autonomous delivery cars are still in their infancy, and we haven’t yet experienced what it’s like to share our personal space with them.
Reference- VICE, Nuro website, Reuters, CNBC, TechCrunch