The First Autonomous Company Has Gotten Federal Approval To Deliver Your Groceries

The future is here! The first autonomous car has achieved federal regulation approval. And you could soon be seeing them on city streets near you delivering your groceries.

Self-driving robot startup Nuro is getting to bypass safety standards and head straight to the streets. Bloomberg reports why this is such a big deal:

“The company, founded by ex-Alphabet Inc. employees and backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, won an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday that allows it to deploy a car without side mirrors, rear visibility, and a glazed windshield. This relieves the company of complying with certain historic Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the rules specifying the design, construction, and performance of cars. Those rules currently restrict self-driving cars without traditional design elements, such as steering wheels or pedals, from driving on the road for commercial purposes.”

Seeing as how most cars containing autonomous features currently on the road aren’t actually fully autonomous, this is a major step. Nuro’s machines are truly autonomous. So being that this got approved it could mean we’re about to start seeing more autonomous startups hitting the roads.

However, as exciting (or terrifying depending on your perspective) as this is, there are still limitations. As of now, Nuro’s vehicles don’t transport people, and their maximum speed is a mere 25 miles per hour. So the risk for anything extremely major or harmful to humans is pretty low.

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