Six years ago, I sat in the Google self-driving project’s Firefly vehicle — which I described, at the time, as a “little gumdrop on wheels” — and let it ferry me around a closed course in, California. Little did I know that two of the people behind Firefly’s ability to see and perceive the it and react to that information would soon leave to start and steer an independent vehicle company. Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu aren’t the only an AV startup, but they might be the most underrated. Their company, Nuro, is and has high-profile partnerships with retail, logistics, and food, including FedEx, Dominoes, and Walmart. And they seem to have successfully navigated the regulatory obstacle course so far.
Yet, Nuro has remained in the shadows of othercompanies. Perhaps it’s because hasn’t captured the imagination of a general public that envisions themselves being whisked away in a robotaxi. Or it might be that they’re quieter. Those quiet soon. This series aims to look under Nuro’s hood, so to speak, from its earliest days as a startup to where it might be — and with whom.
Thewriter of this EC-1 is Mark Harris, a freelance reporter known for investigative and long-form articles on science and technology. Our resident scoop machine, Harris, is based in Seattle and writes for Wired, The Guardian, The Economist, MIT Technology Review, and Scientific American. He has broken stories about self-driving vehicles, giant airships, AI body scanners, faulty defibrillators, and monkey-powered robots. 2014, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT; in 2015, he Award.
The lead editor of this EC-1 was Kirsten Korosec, transportation editor at TechCrunch (that’s me), who has been writing about [email protected].and the people behind them since 2014; OK, maybe earlier. The assistant editor for this was Ram Iyer, the copy editor was Richard Dal Porto, and Nigel Sussman drew the illustrations. The EC-1 series editor is Danny Crichton. Nuro had no of this analysis and did not get advanced access to it. Harris nor Korosec have any financial ties to Nuro. The comprises four articles numbering 10,600 words and a reading time of 43 minutes. Here are the topics we’ll be dialing into: We’re constantly iterating on the EC-1 format. If you have questions, comments, or ideas, please Managing Editor Danny Crichton at