is responsible for the development, testing, and production of the vehicle, and provides the blade battery, motor, and motor controller.

(Image credit: Nuro)

US autonomous delivery startup Nuro on Wednesday unveiled its third-generation autonomous vehicle, jointly developed by the company and BYD and to be produced by the latter's factory.

The project, which officially launched in August 2019 and is scheduled for mass production in early 2023, will provide smarter and greener delivery services to local consumers, according to Nuro.

In the partnership, BYD is responsible for vehicle development, testing, and production, and provides core tier-one assembly components including blade batteries, motors, motor controllers and human-machine interaction. Nuro provides autonomous driving, gateways, control modules and sensor technology.

Production of the vehicle will be carried out at BYD's China plant, with assembly of the power cell and autonomous driving components completed at BYD's Lancaster, US plant.

Nuro's third-generation model has twice the cargo capacity of its predecessor and is equipped with external airbags and a multi-mode sensing suite to safeguard pedestrians.

Nuro was founded in Silicon Valley in 2016 by Zhu Jiajun and Dave Ferguson, two veterans of the Google self-driving car project that would go on to become Waymo, to focus on developing self-driving cargo vehicles.

The company has launched two generations of self-driving delivery vehicles for delivery services in restaurants, grocery stores and other scenarios.

In February 2019, Nuro received $940 million in investment from Japan's SoftBank Group to further expand the reach of its fleet and delivery services.

In November 2021, Nuro announced the completion of a $600 million Series D funding round. In the same year, Nuro established a long-term partnership with FedEx and launched a pilot delivery service with Delta Pizza in Houston.

To date, Nuro has completed automated delivery trials in communities in Texas, Arizona, and California.

BYD will leverage the manufacturing capacity of its Lancaster plant by finishing assembly of globally sourced hardware components to support Nuro and bring more jobs to the community, said Stella Li, Executive Vice President of BYD and President of BYD North America.

BYD has a global supply chain and expects its hardware technology to be part of the innovative self-driving car, said Zhu Jiajun, co-founder and CEO of Nuro.