Imagine the scene: your grandma needs a refill on her prescription but doesn’t have a way to drive to the pharmacy.
Instead of having to take the bus, or pay for an Uber, or rely on a family member to drive her, thanks to Nuro, she’ll soon be able to get the prescription delivered right to her front door via a driverless delivery vehicle.
“Nuro is on a mission to better everyday life through robotics,” says Mike Blank, Regional Policy Lead for Nuro. “Our company philosophy is ‘Less Driving, More Thriving.’ We want to change how people get goods. We feel like our services provide families with more time to spend at home with their kids versus stuck in traffic or running errands.”
Nuro develops and manufactures autonomous delivery vehicles with the goal of carrying goods, not passengers. They have partnered with major brands, including FedEx, Kroger, and Domino’s, to deliver pizzas, groceries, and prescriptions right to your doorstep.
LVGEA connected with Nuro in 2021 and helped the company secure state tax incentives through the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Nuro recently began operating a 74-acre testing facility at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where they test the bots in real world scenarios.
“We’re able to put the robots through tests that we couldn’t do on public roads,” says Anna Wilson, a Robot Operator at Nuro. “We do things like collision testing and sideswipes, things that would not be safe to test on public roads.”
Nuro is also building a manufacturing facility a few miles south of the speedway in North Las Vegas, where the company’s next-generation model will be built.
The company expects to employ more than 250 people within the next couple years, and say they are hiring people from all different backgrounds, not just those with autonomous vehicle experience.
“We’re creating new vehicles and new concepts, and at the same time creating new types of jobs that haven’t existed before,” says Blank. “Take our fleet technician job for example. They need to understand how a vehicle operates, but also the software behind it. So, we’re looking for people who may have knowledge in one of those fields but is willing to learn the other side.”
Nuro has facilities in California, Arizona, and Texas, and says Nevada’s proximity to their other hubs was a big factor in their decision to move to the region. Another was a desire to help diversify the region’s tech industry.
“We know there are people living in Las Vegas who want to get jobs in the tech space, but there aren’t always jobs for them,” says Blank. “If you’re interested in autonomous vehicles or robotics, now you can stay in Nevada.”
Bot operator Anna Wilson says the ability to work with a cutting-edge technology is what excites her about the job.
“Being able to have the opportunity at 24 and being a female in the tech field to work with autonomous vehicles is so awesome,” says Wilson. “It’s going to be such a growing industry, so it’s really cool seeing it now and imagining in five years where it’s going to go.”
Nevada’s status as the first state to legalize autonomous vehicles, way back in 2011, also encourages these types of innovative companies to call Nevada home.
“It’s really exciting for them to bring those new technologies to Southern Nevada,” says Betsy Fretwell, Chairwoman of the LVGEA50 Board of Directors. “Nuro was able to build on a very robust regulatory environment that the state built out well over a decade ago. It was inviting autonomous vehicle companies into our state. They’re a catalyst and we’re excited to have them here.”