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Leading autonomous delivery company Nuro announced a $40 million investment to develop two new facilities in southern Nevada—an end-of-line manufacturing facility and world-class closed-course test track—to commercialize and scale production of the company’s third-generation autonomous vehicle.
“This is a significant moment for Nuro. Building on our tremendous momentum—including strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Domino’s, Kroger, and FedEx and operations in three states—we are now able to invest in the infrastructure to build tens of thousands of robots,” said Jiajun Zhu, Nuro co-founder and CEO. “We greatly appreciate the state’s leadership in working with us to finalize this partnership. The decision to place these facilities in Southern Nevada was an easy one.”
Investing in production at scale
Nuro’s new production facility—the industry’s first end-of-line manufacturing facility in America with the capacity to manufacture tens of thousands of delivery vehicles—will enable the company to meet the demand for its third-generation autonomous vehicles with current and future partners. Totaling over 125,000 square feet of space and over 80 acres of property development, the new commercial facility will allow Nuro to quickly manufacture its electric delivery AVs in the coming years with help from BYD North America.
As one of the largest OEM networks of electric vehicles in the world, BYD North America will deliver an assembled-in-America electric vehicle platform that Nuro will transform into innovative autonomous vehicles. Nuro will design, develop, and operate all software and digital infrastructure from United States-based servers to ensure safety and privacy. This significant investment in American innovation will help retain America’s global leadership in self-driving technology and will help solidify Nevada’s role at the heart of a burgeoning industry.
Investing in local economies
Nuro’s $40 million investment in the Southern Nevada community is estimated by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development to generate $2.2 billion in economic impact during the first 10 years of operation. This investment will also create an initial 250 highly skilled career opportunities. These local job opportunities are careers with long-term growth potential in the autonomous vehicle industry. To fill these roles, Nuro is looking to partner with local universities, community colleges, and career training programs to build a talent pipeline specifically targeting individuals traditionally underrepresented in current technology roles.
“It’s one thing to introduce new jobs to the state—and it’s another thing to introduce high-quality careers to our community,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “We’re pleased to welcome Nuro to Southern Nevada and are especially excited for the careers they’ll be offering that will have long-term benefits for our community.”
Investing in safer communities
Safety is at the core of Nuro’s mission, and it’s especially important now, given the recent trend in highway fatalities. That commitment to safety is why the company is investing in a prominent closed-course testing facility to validate its bots before deploying in local communities. Automated delivery vehicles are a vital step towards reducing traffic fatalities caused by human-driven vehicles. Nuro will be taking over 74 acres of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to build a world-class, closed-course testing facility that will allow sophisticated development and validation of its autonomous on-road vehicles. The testing track will measure bot performance in a broad range of scenarios, from avoiding pedestrians and pets to giving bicycles space on shared roadways, as well as environmental tests and vehicle systems validation.
“Investing in the technological advancement of autonomous vehicles will allow us to better address the pressing issue of safety on Nevada’s roads,” said Senator Jacky Rosen. “I remain enthusiastic about these efforts in Nevada, which will provide benefits to our communities.”
Since enacting its first-in-the-nation autonomous vehicle legislation in 2011, the state of Nevada has been a leader in promoting the safe deployment of these lifesaving innovations, and this investment will reinforce the state's trajectory of high-tech leadership and economic growth for many years to come.
Construction on the production facility will begin fall 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2022. Both facilities are expected to be fully operational in 2022.