While the Nuro R2 might not look like the most exciting autonomous vehicle out there, what it has achieved puts it up there with the most important vehicles of this class.
The R2 has attained a DOT exemption which means that they are free to continue testing their vehicles on public roads in the US. The reason why this is such a major stepping stone is because at the base of DOT's stand their strict laws on automotive design which revolves around the human element. The R2, as you can imagine; has no human controlling it. It was designed to deliver groceries and food items without any human interference.
The R2 had to be heavily designed towards safety and has multiple features that prioritize the safety of people around it rather than what's inside. This includes shock-absorbing panels, rounded edges and a plethora of sensors for superb awareness of its surroundings. It took them three years to perfect their technology and present it to DOT to earn such approval and it is certainly an exciting move. We can now say that autonomous cars will soon be in the streets replacing humans and that can be good, or bad. However, the transportation world has entered a new revolutionary phase.