FedEx and robotics company Nuro on Tuesday announced a multi-year agreement to test self-driving vehicles in the package delivery company’s network, starting with a pilot program in Houston. The partnership comes as parcel companies race to reduce the cost of last-mile delivery, which surged during the pandemic. The companies will target delivery scenarios where Nuro’s low-speed, unmanned vehicle can provide “the biggest bang for your buck,” Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, told Reuters in an interview. That will likely include inefficient tasks like late-night pickups in out-of-the-way places, said Rebecca Yeung, FedEx vice president for advanced technology and innovation. “Instead of dispatching a driver to get those packages, a device like Nuro could be super helpful,” said Yeung, who called the FedEx/Nuro tie-up a “very serious, long-term commitment” that aims to reduce headaches, not human drivers. Nuro vehicles are already making deliveries for U.S. supermarket operator Kroger and Domino’s …

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