Autonomous mobility company Zoox Inc. has revealed its first electric, autonomous vehicle capable of operating up to 75 miles per hour. Designed and manufactured in the U.S., Zoox’s robotaxi is the only vehicle to offer bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, which enables manoeuvring through compact spaces and changing directions without the need to reverse.
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.
Zoox was founded in 2014 with a vision of purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack. The company was acquired by Amazon in 2020.
Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Officer, says: “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. 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.”
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.
Jesse Levinson, Zoox Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, adds: “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.”
Based in Foster City, California, Zoox is currently testing its vehicles in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Foster City.