Autonomous delivery startup Nuro taps simulation company Foretellix to cut R&D costs

Nuro, the autonomous delivery startup, has entered into a strategic partnership with safety-focused software company Foretellix to enhance the virtual testing of its automated driving system, aiming to streamline research and development costs while advancing autonomous technology.

This collaboration, scheduled to be officially announced, follows a challenging period for Nuro, which, despite securing substantial funding from prominent investors like Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Google, underwent two workforce reductions in the past 18 months. In May 2023, Nuro underwent a restructuring that shifted its focus away from planned commercial operations.

Nuro’s decision to partner with Foretellix aligns with broader trends in the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry, marked by significant changes such as GM’s self-driving subsidiary Cruise reducing its workforce, TuSimple exiting the U.S. market, and Argo AI ceasing operations in fall 2022.

Founded in 2018 and backed by Toyota and Nvidia, Foretellix specializes in verification and validation software, generating millions of scenarios to test autonomous systems efficiently. Unlike in-house solutions, Foretellix’s software provides a substantial productivity boost by automatically analyzing driving logs from Nuro’s test vehicles and rerunning those drives in simulation. This capability allows Nuro’s automated system to encounter diverse versions of driving scenarios without the time-consuming process of replicating them in the real world.

Foretellix, having previously partnered with Volvo Group and Torc Robotics, raised $43 million in its latest funding round in December. The financial details of the collaboration with Nuro were not disclosed, but Foretellix CEO Ziv Binyamini emphasized the significant role this partnership would play in Nuro’s development process, showcasing the value of advanced simulation in the evolution of autonomous driving technology.

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