Amazon-Owned Zoox Unveils Futuristic Autonomous Electric Robotaxi
Earlier this year, Amazon bought Zoox, a relatively unknown company, who was working toward autonomous vehicles. At the time, Amazon consumer business CEO Jeff Wilke stated that “Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” and now they have something to share.
Today, Zoox posted on Twitter the first look at its all-electric ride service vehicle. After playing Cyberpunk 2077 and then seeing this video, it feels like we are taking one step closer to that future. The Zoox vehicle is setup for up to four passengers facing each other on cloth bench-style seats. Inside, riders will find touch screen displays to customize your ride by setting the music and temperature. There are also cupholders and a center console area on each side of the car for wirelessly charging devices. Look at the video for yourself, but this thing seems pretty cool.
According to Zoox’s website, under the hood is a 133 kWh battery paired with a wireless charging solution to make fleet charging easy. There are also dual motors and four-wheel steering to make the already small vehicle easy to maneuver. For the passengers, there is an active suspension system, so it should feel incredibly smooth wherever your taxi is taking you.
As for the passengers' safety, there is a redesigned airbag that should protect all riders equally should there be an accident. It is unlikely for that to happen, though, as the vehicle has plenty of cameras, LIDAR sensors, and RADAR sensors for a full 360-degree scan of the surroundings up to 150m away. It uses this data to compute what could happen next and then adjusts accordingly. If you are still concerned about the vehicle's overall safety, Zoox has uploaded 45 videos of autonomous driving on YouTube alongside the reveal trailer below.
All things considered, this looks like it could be one of the better fully autonomous driving solutions to date. That 45-video playlist shows the Zoox software navigating San Francisco and Las Vegas, and this ample testing with limited vehicle ranges could change the way people get around cities.