Home Transports SoftBank Invests $940m in Driverless Startup Nuro

SoftBank Invests $940m in Driverless Startup Nuro

Nuro, a driverless delivery firm, recently landed an investment boost from SoftBank.

According to the recent announcement by the company, it raised $940 million from the Japan-based technology company’s Vision Fund.

Nuro said that the massive amount would play a significant role in helping it to expedite its endeavor to put autonomous delivery cars on the road.

The financing acts as a vote of confidence for the startup, which is not widely known.

Nuro was established back in 2016 by two former Google self-driving engineers.

Since its inception, the startup has managed to set itself apart from other companies by focusing on other things like food delivery as opposed to just human transportation.

READ MORE: World’s Top 33 Companies Working on Self Driving Cars

In fact, the startup recently rolled out a pilot project for delivery services in the state of Arizona, which will involve a collaboration with grocery giant Kroger.

“We’ve spent the last two and a half years building an amazing team, launching our first unmanned service, working with incredible partners and creating technology to fundamentally improve our daily lives,” claimed Nuro co-founder, Dave Ferguson, in a statement.

“This partnership gives us the opportunity to take the next step in realizing our vision for local commerce and the broad application of our technology.”

Nuro is among the few entities that are operating fully autonomous cars on public roads.

The company’s RI car is nearly half as broad as a compact sedan, shorter than the average cars, and does not have any room for human drivers and passengers.

So far, Nuro has developed six such cars and plans to utilize the cash infusion to make more.

The company also plans to boost its test fleet made up of standard vehicles that are fitted with autonomous driving software and hardware to about 50 cars.

The cars are expected to operate on public roads in various states across the US such as Texas, Arizona, and California with safety drivers behind the wheel.

The $940 million investment marks SoftBank’s newest investment in self-driving cars.

SoftBank has rapidly grown into one of the leading entities in the industry.

Vision Fund is SoftBank’s leading venture investment effort, which was established by the Japan-based tech giant, in 2016.

Even though there is undeniable uncertainty surrounding autonomous cars, especially around real-world and safety applications, the entities behind the development of the technology are increasingly raking in cash at a fast pace.

Recently, Aurora Innovation, which is another startup established by Google ex-engineers, announced that it had fundraised about half a million dollars from various investors such as Amazon.

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KC Cheung
KC Cheung has over 18 years experience in the technology industry including media, payments, and software and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and its applications in business. Over the years he has worked with some of the leading technology companies, building and growing dynamic teams in a fast moving international environment.
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