The Best Inventions of 2021
November 10, 2021 6:11 AM EST

Someday in the near future, your pizza order might arrive at your door courtesy of a robot—specifically, the R2 delivery system, an electric self-driving vehicle developed by San Francisco–­based Nuro. About the size of a golf cart, the R2 is equipped with 360-degree cameras, short- and long-range radar and ultrasonic sensors, and is capable of speeds of up to 25 m.p.h. The vehicle is designed to solve a longtime problem for shippers: last-mile ­delivery—that is, the point at which goods are brought from distribution centers to their ultimate destination—which tends to be the most logistically tricky, because individual items need to go to different addresses, which can involve a lot of trucks, drivers and stops. Nuro has partnered with Domino’s, FedEx and Kroger in Houston to test the R2 in real-life traffic conditions; they’re also on the road in Phoenix and in Mountain View, Calif. —­Jeffrey Kluger

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

EDIT POST