Autonomous delivery startup Nuro announced this week that it’s laying off 30 percent of its workforce, or around 340 employees, as reported by TechCrunch. It will now shift its focus away from commercial operations and toward R&D. It’s the company’s second round of layoffs in the last year; it let go of about 300 people in November.
As part of the restructuring, Nuro says it’s delaying the previously planned production of its third-generation Nuro bot (R3) vehicle. In addition, it will reduce the scale of its commercial pilots and “explore more efficient deployment models with partners.” The company says the changes will let it operate twice as long without raising more money.
Nuro was founded in 2016 by former Google Waymo engineers Jiajun Zhu and Dave Ferguson. Since then, the startup has raised over $2 billion while gaining regulatory approval for testing on public roads in Arizona, California and Texas. Last year, it announced the kickoff of an Uber Eats delivery program as part of a 10-year partnership.
“While in the past we developed autonomy systems, designed and built custom vehicles, and deployed commercial pilots with partners in parallel, we will now pursue a more sequential development model,” the company wrote in a blog post. “With our new approach, Nuro will not only get through this economic downturn, but we hope to emerge stronger on the other side.”