Zoox Inc., the autonomous vehicle company and a subsidiary of Amazon unveiled its electric vehicle, Zoox, on Tuesday. Zoox’s purpose-built electric robotaxi can run up to 75 miles per hour.
Designed and manufactured in the U.S., Zoox offers bidirectional driving and four-wheel steering, which allows one to maneuver compact spaces and change directions without the need to reverse.
Zoox’s robotaxi is 3.63m long and has one of the smallest footprints in the automotive industry. It is a four-seater with a face-to-face symmetrical seating configuration that eliminates the steering wheel and bench seating seen in conventional car designs. It comes with a 133 kWh battery, one of the largest available in electric vehicles today, and gives 16 continuous hours on a single charge.
“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.
“We are transforming the rider experience to provide superior mobility-as-a-service for cities. And as we see the alarming statistics around carbon emissions and traffic accidents, it’s more important than ever that we build a sustainable, safe solution that allows riders to get from point A to point B.”
Zoox’s Electric Robotax: Designed to disrupt the transportation industry
Zoox’s electric robotaxi comes with high-end safety features, including a novel airbag system for bidirectional vehicles and carriage seating that envelops passengers, which is equal to five-star crash safety protections for all four seats.
A unique sensor architecture of cameras, radar, and LIDAR gives an unrivaled 270-degree field of view on all four corners of the vehicle, eliminating typical blind spots and allowing the vehicle to consistently track objects next to and behind it, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users. The ceiling has a central fixed glass panel. There are smartphone chargers and infotainment screens to give directions if needed.
“Safety is the foundation of everything we do. Building a vehicle from the ground-up has given us the opportunity to reimagine passenger safety, shifting from reactive to proactive measures,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox chief technology officer and co-founder.
“These include new safety features such as our airbag design, redundant hardware throughout the vehicle, a unique sensor architecture, and a custom AI stack that detects and mitigates potential risks. Our vehicle has passed key FMVSS crash tests, and we are continuing to look for new, innovative ways to protect our riders and others on the road.”
Zoox was started in 2014 to reinvent personal transport using a combination of AI and innovation techniques. It was acquired by Amazon in 2020, and operates as an independent subsidiary. Zoox is currently testing in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Foster City.
Its vision for mobility includes charging and maintenance infrastructure and fleet management tools, in addition to vehicle software and hardware. This full-stack approach enables a rider-focused deployment of the Zoox vision for urban mobility.
(Image Credit: Zoox Pressroom)