Zoox Vehicle Officially Unveiled
Electric. Level 5 capable. And owned by Amazon
Zoox has officially launched its mobility vehicle: “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 CEO.
She added: “We are transforming the rider experience to provide superior mobility-as-a-service for cities.”
The Zoox vehicle. Electric. Autonomous. And seats four. (Images: Zoox)
Length: 3,630 mm (fender to fender)
Height: 1,936 mm
Turning radius: 8.6 m
Sensor suite: Cameras, radar, lidar (270° field of view for all corners)
Battery: 133 kWh (said to allow 16-hour vehicle operation)
Top speed: 75 mph (either direction)
“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.”—Jesse Levinson, Zoox chief technology officer (and co-founder)
Each of the four passengers has access to an infotainment screen.
What’s in the Name?
Comes from zooxanthellae, which are mobile, algae-like organisms that (1) derive energy from photosynthesis and (2) have a beneficial relationship with coral.
Zoox vehicles in San Francisco.
Founded in 2014 by Jesse Levinson and Tim Kentley-Flay. Levinson completed his Computer Science Ph.D. and post-doc under Sebastian Thrun at Stanford; he developed algorithms for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge winning vehicle from Stanford.
The company built its first autonomous prototype in 2015, completed its first autonomous loop in downtown San Francisco, received a permit to transport passengers autonomously with a safety driver from the state of California in 2018.
Amazon acquired Zoox in June 2020.
Zoox vehicles are currently being tested in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Foster City, where Zoox is based.
The company plans to launch commercial service in San Francisco and Las Vegas.
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