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Tesla Vs... Domino's? The Race For Autonomous Vehicles

Everyone knows that Tesla has been trying to bring out self-driving cars for years now. (Yes, Elon - I'm waiting!)

But now, a new challenger emerges.

Domino's pizza?

Nuro, a California company that has raised about $1.5 billion in funding according to Crunchbase, has developed a golf-cart sized delivery vehicle called the R2 capable of driving at 25 miles per hour. In April, the R2 began delivering pizzas for Domino's Pizza in Houston, Texas...

Ashley Nunes, a transportation research fellow at Harvard Law School, says that driverless vehicles might supplement current ride hailing and delivery services in places like densely packed urban areas with mild weather. But he suspects the harsh economics of competition with personal vehicle ownership will challenge the truly transformational benefits. He points out that all self-driving fleets require oversight, whether in the form of remote pilots or a fleet response team, and that the price of this human labor limits how affordable the vehicles can become.

(CNBC.)

Robert Heinlein described a delivery robot in his 1962 story Podkayne of Mars. Charles Stross hedged a bit on autonomous vehicles in his 2007 story Halting State:

A fleet of driverless BMW SUVs appear, bouncing slowly over the traffic pillows and pull in next to you, flagrantly ingnoring the red route markings and security notices. They've got diplomatic plates. Doors spring open, and you find yourself gently inserted into the empty driver's seat of the third vehicle as Liz and the leader of the hit squad slide in the back. The steering wheel twitches hesitantly, then as the doors click shut it spins hard over and the yuppiemobile accelerates fast. You try not to shudder. You hate the whole idea that some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life - and half a dozen other lives - in his hands. At least on the motorways the cars steer themselves, that's within the capabilities of today's AI.

(Read more about driverless drones)

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