Nuro’s new delivery robot will include external airbags for pedestrians

Nuro, the autonomous delivery company, announced its third-generation autonomous vehicle with a host of new improvements, including a bizarre-looking external airbag for pedestrians…

For the new vehicle, the external airbag is certainly the most eye-catching new feature. A rendering of the airbag makes it look like an inflated mattress strapped to the front end of the vehicle. Since the vehicle is not intended for human drivers or occupants, Nuro installed the airbag on the outside for pedestrians in case of a collision.

It’s the latest attempt by an autonomous vehicle company to account for the safety of people outside of the vehicle, such as pedestrians and cyclists. And while it may look silly on the surface — and who knows whether an external airbag will make a difference when the vehicle is traveling over 25mph — the fact that Nuro is thinking about how people interact with self-driving cars is refreshing.