Autonomous delivery vans: Start-up Nuro is laying off 30 percent of its employees

The start-up Nuro for autonomously driving delivery vans is again in financial difficulties and wants to lay off 30 percent of its workforce. In addition, several projects are to be shortened or canceled and the partnerships with other companies are to be rearranged. As the company announced in a blog post at the end of this week, in view of investors’ declining willingness to invest and the looming recession in the US economy, they want to strengthen the company’s capital and increase earnings. In addition to the mass layoffs, this includes a realignment of the company, turning away from numerous projects and the delivery service and concentrating on the development of autonomous driving, the company writes.

Nuro develops autonomous delivery vans that deliver goods automatically; the company was the first company ever to receive a license for this in California in 2020. With the restructuring that has now been announced, the delivery service and the development of the next generation of vehicles – called bots, in the third generation – are likely to be eliminated, the company will also take a critical look at the partnerships (e.g. with the parcel delivery company FedEx) and possibly let them expire. According to the blog post, the new focus will exclusively be on the development of autonomous driving. The layoffs among employees and drivers are said to affect about 30 percent of the workforce, or 340 people, according to the news website Tech Crunch.

With these measures, the company wants to use the collected company capital for a further three years at its own discretion – that would be about twice as long as the old business plan provided for. Only then could it become necessary again to raise additional investments. This is the second mass dismissal of employees: in November last year, the company fired 20 percent of the workforce. The company wants to make severance offers to those willing to change, writes Nuro. The company was founded in 2018 by two former Google employees.


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