Nuro’s self-driving vehicles have begun delivering medical supplies and food at the Sleep Train Arena, which has since been converted into a COVID-19 treatment facility. Nuro CEO Dave Ferguson announced the company’s intitiative in a blog post, along with news that contactless R2 deliveries will also be deployed in San Mateo. To keep the process contactless, R2 vehicles open and close its cargo doors by detecting hand signals from human workers at the designated pick up and drop off points.
“Beginning this week, our unmanned R2 vehicles start service at STA, doing contactless delivery of medical supplies to help patients affected by COVID-19. San Mateo County recently converted its Event Center into a multi-purpose facility to assist with COVID-19 response, creating a testing facility, alternative housing site, and field hospital. This week we are also deploying R2 vehicles at this site, to transport food, water, and other supplies on an as-needed basis,” Ferguson said.
R2 vehicles can travel up to 25 miles per hour but its speed has temporarily been capped at 5 miles per hour to ensure safety and exercise extreme caution at the sites. This isn’t the first time that unmanned vehicles have been deployed to help in the fight against COVID-19. Mayo Clinic in Florida have been using driverless vehicles to transport COVID-19 test kits for processing since 30 March so that its healthcare workers can focus on treatment and care for their patients.