Zoox, a startup developing an electric and autonomous vehicle that was recently purchased by Amazon, has unveiled its autonomous electric vehicle. It has a massive battery pack.
Zoox has been a relatively secretive startup that has been developing a fully electric and autonomous vehicle.
It has become higher profile after major investments boosted its valuation, and it was recently acquired by Amazon.
Today, the company has unveiled its vehicles, confirming that it is a shuttle-like vehicle designed for autonomous ride-hailing:
Designed and manufactured in the US, Zoox is the only vehicle to offer bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, which enables maneuvering through compact spaces and changing directions without the need to reverse. At 3.63m long, the vehicle has one of the smallest footprints in the automotive industry. The vehicle features a four-seat, face-to-face symmetrical seating configuration that eliminates the steering wheel and bench seating seen in conventional car designs.
Zoox confirmed that the vehicle is equipped with a massive 133 kWh battery pack:
The vehicle also features a 133 kWh battery, one of the largest available in electric vehicles today, allowing it to operate for up to 16 continuous hours on a single charge.
Here are a few pictures of the autonomous electric vehicle vehicles:
Aicha Evans, Zoox chief executive officer, commented on the unveiling today:
Revealing our functioning and driving vehicle is an exciting milestone in our company’s history and marks an important step on our journey toward deploying an autonomous ride-hailing service. 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 is emphasizing its focus on safety, which is going be important in the advent of self-driving vehicles. It wrote in a press release today:
The vehicle design has more than 100 safety innovations not featured in conventional cars, 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. The vehicles utilize a unique sensor architecture of cameras, radar, and LIDAR to obtain 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.
Jesse Levinson, Zoox chief technology officer and cofounder, commented on the focus on safety:
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. 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.
The company didn’t specify when its robotaxi is going to into operation, but they confirmed that it is currently being tested in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Foster City.
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