Why make it half as wide?
It's still going to take up the same amount of road but carry half the amount.
Makes little sense.
Self-driving startup Nuro has unveiled its autonomous delivery vehicle today – as well as $92m (£65.17m) in funding. The R-1, as it has been named, is an electric driverless van approximately as long as a normal car, but half as wide, and has modular interior compartments for all your carrying needs. The company's website has …
I imagine that the discussion for that went something like this:-
"Boss, we've got a fatal problem with the new driveless van project. It keeps detecting parked cars at the side of the road that leave so little space that our van can't figure out when it's safe to drive through the gaps against oncoming traffic so it just sits there until all the traffic goes away."
"Which it never does?"
"Yeah, pretty much."
"How about making the van half as wide so it can get through the gaps easily?"
If it is going to be used for Pizza delivery, there will still need to be a compartment for the disenfranchised teenager to carry the Pizza to your door, otherwise you'll have to actually stand up and walk to the front door, then down the path to collect the cheese and topping savoury treat which seems like too much work.
I get people saying you still have to load the wagon but surely the long term game for something like this with maybe standardised modular interiors will be your business or household robot loads/collects the parcel and takes it into your house. Rob-couriers could work 24/7 which might reduce road burden.
Clearly the unusual oversized wheels and the even stranger half-width design are intentional so that once it reaches its destination it can roll off the road onto the sidewalk and even up the stairs to knock on your door. And just like the pizza dude it replaces, it will probably also knock over your potted plant.
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