After getting acquired by Amazon in the middle of this year, Zoox unveils its first fully functional, electric autonomous vehicle. The company, which is an independent subsidiary under Amazon.com, Inc., said that this driverless taxi is designed for dense and urban environments.
According to the release, Zoox was founded in 2014 and used a combination of artificial intelligence, robotics, vehicle design, and sustainable energy to reinvent personal transportation. They envision a safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable future for everyone.
Gallery: Zoox Functional Autonomous Electric Taxi
Zoox's U.S.-built new autonomous robotaxi has a carriage design and can accommodate up to four passengers seated face-to-face. Yes, there isn't any steering wheel as the taxi is completely driverless. Apart from that, it can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (121 kilometers per hour), as well as offers bidirectional capabilities and four-wheel steering. At only 3.63 meters (12 feet) long, it is compact enough to fit tight spaces and can change directions without the need to reverse.
Power comes from a 133 kWh battery, which allows Zoox's robotaxi to operate for 16 straight hours on a single charge. This battery capacity is one of the biggest available in the market as of date.
Apart from those, the Zoox autonomous taxi is claimed to bear 100 safety features that aren't found on normal vehicles with drivers. These tech toys include an envelope airbag for carriage seating, touted as an equivalent to a five-star crash safety rating for all four seats. The vehicle also uses a combination of cameras, radar, and LIDAR to have a 270-degree field of view on all four corners of the vehicle, virtually eliminating all blind spots.
"Revealing our functioning and driving vehicle is an exciting milestone in our company’s history and marks an important step on our journey towards deploying an autonomous ride-hailing service," said Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Officer.
The Zoox driverless taxi is currently in its testing phase in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Foster City.