Home » BYD Partners with Nuro to Produce Third-Gen Autonomous Delivery Vehicle

BYD Partners with Nuro to Produce Third-Gen Autonomous Delivery Vehicle

latest example of Chinese automakers working with overseas tech companies to build autonomous vehicles.

by SEP Editor
5 mins read
Nuro2(photo credit-Baidu)
(Photo Credit: Baidu)

BYD Company Limited (“BYD” or the “Company”, NYSE: BYDDF) announced it’s partnership with Nuro to begin producing third-gen electric autonomous delivery vehicles on Jan 12, 2022. The project was officially launched in August 2019, and plans to start mass production at the beginning of 2023. It aims to provide smarter and more environmentally friendly distribution services to consumers within the local community. 

Nuro was founded in 2016 by Zhu Jiajun, the former principal engineer of Google’s self-driving car team, and Dave Ferguson. Nuro specialises in developing autonomous trucks. In February, 2019, Nuro got 940 million USD from SoftBank in Japan, and it raised another 600 million USD Series D funding led by Tiger Global Management in Q4 2021. Since its establishment, Nura has launched two generations of autonomous vehicles for delivering goods to grocery stores and restaurants, introduced delivery service including Domino’s and FedEx, etc. 

As a leader in the new electric vehicle industry, BYD has rich experience in the field of electrification. In this project, BYD is in charge of the whole vehicle development, and is responsible for vehicle manufacturing and initial testing. It also provides hardware like blade battery, electric motors, electronic controls, and displays of human-machine interaction. BYD will manufacture the outer structure of the vehicle in its plant in China, while assembling the blade battery and other parts of self-driving in its plant in Lancaster, California, USA. Nuro, on the other hand, integrates technologies including autonomous driving, and control modules and sensors. 

With both parties’ advanced technology, the third-gen autonomous delivery vehicle will be safer with greater loading capacity. The new vehicle has twice the cargo volume compared to previous generation, with additional modular inserts to customise storage. It is also equipped with temperature-controlled compartments to keep goods at a desired temperature. Moreover, the new vehicle is enhanced with an external airbag and a multi-modal sensing suite including cameras, lidar, and thermal cameras to better protect pedestrians outside of the vehicle. 

BYD and Nuro president’s view on this cooperation

Li Ke, Executive Vice President of BYD and President of BYD North America, states, “BYD will leverage the manufacturing capacity of the Lancaster plant to support Nuro for product innovation and bring more jobs to the community. BYD and Nuro will work together producing the innovative autonomous delivery vehicle, in hope to create a smarter, cleaner, and more environmentally-friendly delivering service across the United States.”

“BYD is one of the largest OEM electric vehicle manufacturers in the world, and we are thrilled to partner with them to scale out commercial operation,” said Zhu Jiajun, Nuro’s co-founder and CEO. “We look forward to transforming BYD’s hardware components technology into part of innovative autonomous vehicles. In the future, this vehicle will be able to operate on specific public roads. We plan to scale up the production of autonomous vehicles through this partnership, and improve road safety, air quality, and delivering efficiency.” 

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