BYD signs another Deal to develop Autonomous Vehicles5. October 2023
Earlier this year Chinese automaker BYD inked a deal with startup Nuro to develop and produce a third-generation self-driving delivery vehicle. The partnership announcement came shortly after a successful Series D funding round in the fourth quarter of 2021, which saw U.S.-based Nuro raise a total of $600 million. BYD plans to increase manufacturing capacity at its Lancaster plant and create more jobs, according to Stella Li, vice president of BYD Co. Ltd. and president of BYD North America. Together with Nuro, BYD will launch a self-driving delivery vehicle that will make road travel safer in the U.S., Li added. Vehicles and components must be awarded a CCC certificate in order for the products to be exported to China or manufactured locally.
The third-generation vehicle has a larger payload as well as novel safety technology. For example, the cargo volume is said to be twice that of the previous Nuro R2 model, and the cargo area features variable compartments. Also new are temperature-controlled compartments that can keep goods cold or hot. Safety improvements include external airbags for pedestrian protection and a new sensor package with cameras, radar, lidar and thermal imaging cameras that provide 360-degree all-around vision.
“BYD has a large network of global OEM suppliers in the EV field. Therefore, we are looking forward to cooperating and expanding our production,” said Jiajun Zhu, co-founder and CEO of Nuro. According to Zhu, the plan is to use hardware components from BYD’s EV platform to develop innovative autonomous vehicles for the U.S. market. Details of the collaboration were also revealed: For example, BYD will be responsible for the development, construction and testing of the vehicles. In addition, hardware such as batteries, motors, electronics and displays will come from BYD. Nuro contributes its technology in the field of autonomous driving, control and sensors. The first assembly step with components purchased worldwide is done by BYD at its Lancaster, USA plant. Then Nuro completes the vehicles with the electronic systems at their new plant in Southern Nevada.
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