FedEx testing self-driving delivery vehicles in Houston

FedEx testing self-driving delivery vehicles in Houston
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FedEx has partnered with a robotics company to test a driverless delivery service in Houston, according to a report from Reuters published Tuesday.

Fedex and the robotics company Nuro announced to a multiyear agreement to start a pilot program. 

Nuro's co-founder Dave Ferguson shared the news in a blog post in which he said that the company's goal with the program is to help communities and make FedEx employees' daily work easier.

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“This is a big moment for us. Our vision for the future — a better everyday life through robotics — is gathering momentum. It’s exciting and humbling, all at once,” Ferguson said. 

“We know there’s a great amount of work to be done, but we’re ready for it, and times like this remind us that it’s all worth it. FedEx lives to deliver, and soon, it will be delivering with the help of Nuro’s bots,” he added.

Due to the surge of last-mile delivery during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many shipping companies are trying to reduce the cost, Reuters noted.

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Both FedEx and Nuro will use low-speed vehicles to address inefficient tasks such as late-night pickups in places that are out of the way, according to Reuters. 

"Instead of dispatching a driver to get those packages, a device like Nuro could be super helpful," Rebecca Yeung, FedEx vice president for advanced technology and innovation, told Reuters.

The news comes after Nuro partnered with pizza chain Domino's in April for a similar pilot program in the Houston area.