They have drivers now, but within three to four months vehicles from the Nuro robotics firm will be making driver-less deliveries to Bellaire and West University Place from Kroger markets on Buffalo Speedway and South Post Oak Boulevard.
Every day for several weeks, the vehicles have fanned out across West University, Bellaire and other southwest communities in their delivery region. The cars are distinctive for their small, boxy appearance, the “Nuro” name emblazoned on the side and a large device on top. That’s a tool that is digitally mapping all streets so that the vehicles can eventually use sensors to navigate their routes. Their maximum speed will be 25 miles per hour.
Bellaire police have met with Nuro and presented Chief Byron Holloway with a “law enforcement interaction plan” that the department will review.
West University Place sent out a “news flash” about the vehicles after receiving questions from residents. That information pointed out that driver-less vehicles are regulated by the state, not local law enforcement.
The Nuro website shows how the vehicles will operate and offers a way to ask questions and offer feedback.
The vehicles have reportedly been operating without incident for a local grocery chain in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kroger’s West U-area store has already blocked off a section of the parking lot on the south end of the building for the vehicles to be loaded.