Zoox unveils its self-driving robotaxi paving the way for an Amazon ride-hailing service

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,981   +796
Staff member
In context: Zoox has been working on a robotaxi since 2014. After an internal squabble that saw CEO and co-founder Tim Kentley-Klay abandon the company in 2018, Amazon swooped in for the rescue. Now the two are hoping to get an autonomous taxi service off the ground with Zoox's first four-passenger "carriage."

Robotaxi startup Zoox has finally unveiled its first autonomous vehicle. The driverless car intended to ferry people from point A to point B looks quite similar to Nuro's delivery van that companies like Kroger, Domino's, and CVS eventually plan to use for product delivery.

The compact electric buggy has two bench seats facing each other to allow easy conversation between up to four riders. Amenities in the passenger compartment include cup holders, wireless charging mats, and touchscreens on each of the four armrests for controlling music, AC, and GPS. It also features a unique new airbag system designed for the face-to-face seating arrangement.

Zoox says the robotaxi has a "bi-directional" drivetrain, meaning it can travel just as easily forward or backward. So it never has to turn around unless it needs to do a U-turn. But with four-wheel steering, U-turns or other tight maneuvers are a breeze. It handles driving situations aided by an array of six LIDAR and multiple radar sensors giving it a 270-degree field of view on each corner. The systems are sensitive enough to pick up objects and other vehicles from up to 150 meters away.

Powered by a 133kWh battery, the company claims the taxi can travel up to 75mph. So although Zoox has only tested prototypes on streets in a handful of cities, including San Francisco and Las Vegas, the car does have the potential for freeway driving.

Parent company Amazon entered talks to acquire Zoox back in May of this year and finalized the deal in June. Amazon said at the time that it bought the company to "help bring their vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality." Zoox's first public entry looks well-suited for that course.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
Personally I can't wait for full deployment or at least for them to offer individual ownership. At 65 it won't be too many years before I will have to stop driving and in order for me to maintain my independence this device will make that possible. It's certainly not for everyone but for those of us that don't relish the idea of going into "assisted living" or some kind of retirement home, this solves one major concern. And if I should be dumb enough to over indulge I can have a safe ride home! Now if they will only develop a good robot that can come out to the car, pick me up and carry me in and put me on the bed that would be perfect ... especially if I can afford the female version! LOL
 

Lounds

Posts: 824   +726
I remember seeing these on fully charged (YouTube) a few years back now. I can't see them working in London tbf but who knows.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 596   +455
Amazon love dumping things in the rain on peoples doorsteps so this should be a perfect fit. Lets just hope they don't steel the contents and dump somebody else outside your home this time.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,469   +736
I wonder how many taxi drivers this puts out of job.....
A lot. It is a bit scary how many people will lose simple driving jobs as soon as all these companies are able to sell safe self driving cars.
I am not much into socialism, but all the developed world will face a real problem of people who cant do a more complicated task and don't have anything simple to do to support themselves.
It is coming, I mean when everyone will simply receive a specific sum of money regardless of working or not. And it has a huge problem not too many people talk about: Lots and lots of unhappy people who got plenty of time on their hands and unable to live a satisfying life away from boredom and feeling inferior to those who were able to find a place in this new world without simple jobs.
I am telling you, giving any jobs to this upcoming unemployed crowd must be one of the top priorities for peace and prosperity in our country. Or else a huge crack appears on our society, from its *** and all the way to the neck.
The future is amazing, and scary.
 

Adi6293

Posts: 804   +1,080
A lot. It is a bit scary how many people will lose simple driving jobs as soon as all these companies are able to sell safe self driving cars.
I am not much into socialism, but all the developed world will face a real problem of people who cant do a more complicated task and don't have anything simple to do to support themselves.
It is coming, I mean when everyone will simply receive a specific sum of money regardless of working or not. And it has a huge problem not too many people talk about: Lots and lots of unhappy people who got plenty of time on their hands and unable to live a satisfying life away from boredom and feeling inferior to those who were able to find a place in this new world without simple jobs.
I am telling you, giving any jobs to this upcoming unemployed crowd must be one of the top priorities for peace and prosperity in our country. Or else a huge crack appears on our society, from its *** and all the way to the neck.
The future is amazing, and scary.

Yes I have been saying this for a long time, obviously nobody is advocating to stop technological progress but a lot of people think that say a taxi driver will just get a new skill when this is not that simple, its not that just taxi drivers, it will be train and buss drivers too, too many jobs are lost and not enough of new ones are getting created. The future is indeed scary
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,469   +736
Yes I have been saying this for a long time, obviously nobody is advocating to stop technological progress but a lot of people think that say a taxi driver will just get a new skill when this is not that simple, its not that just taxi drivers, it will be train and buss drivers too, too many jobs are lost and not enough of new ones are getting created. The future is indeed scary
They should all just "learn to code" :"D ...