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

Image Credits: Nuro
Image Credits: Nuro

To save R&D expenses while advancing technology, autonomous delivery startup Nuro has partnered with safety-focused software provider Foretellix to assist with virtual testing of its automated driving system.

The firms plan to announce the agreement later on Thursday. Nuro has had a turbulent period. The AV industry’s buzziest darling, Nuro, which raised over $2 billion from prominent investors like Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Google, has laid off employees twice in the last eighteen months. In May 2023, the company underwent a restructuring that resulted in a departure from planned commercial operations.

Nuro’s partnership with Foretellix comes at a time when the AV sector as a whole is changing. TuSimple has left the U.S. market, Argo AI will shut down in the autumn of 2022, and GM’s self-driving subsidiary Cruise has reduced its personnel and fired many executives.

One of Nuro’s co-founders, Dave Ferguson, emailed TechCrunch, saying, “We are always looking to operate as cost-effectively as possible.” This is yet another instance of how we have attempted to manage our capital carefully throughout the company’s existence. However, this is a routine occurrence and does not portend a plan change.

Foretellix was founded in 2018 and has secured $43 million in funding, including support from Nvidia and Toyota. Similar agreements have been made for its verification and validation software with Torc Robotics and Volvo Group.

Foretellix specializes in creating millions of scenarios to test autonomous software, relieving the workload on internal teams. Many firms creating automated cars have their simulation software.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Ziv Binyamini, the CEO and co-founder of Foretellix, stated, “The product itself is a huge productivity boost, because if you need to develop all of these scenarios one by one, it takes an enormous amount of time.”

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