The American startup specialized in autonomous driving and controlled by the online distribution giant Amazon has just presented its first robotaxi. A proper autonomous vehicle designed for densely populated urban areas and equipped with a huge battery capacity.
The new Zoox, in the absence of knowing the name of this exciting solution, lacks a driving position because only, it does not need a driver, steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator, and other elements of a traditional car.
Against the current options in the circulation of Waymo, or the promised millions of robotaxi of Elon Musk by the end of 2020. Zoox presents an original concept thought for the transport of people, not a car turned robotaxi.
This autonomous vehicle measures just 3.63 meters, which allows it to move with great ease in large cities’ chaotic traffic. As if its size were not a small advantage, it has four steering wheels, which multiplies the possibilities of maneuvers and parking.
The size of the Zoox should not be misleading since it can reach 120 km/h thanks to its two electric motors that provide a four-wheel drive.
With “5 star” Security in Mind
Inside the cabin, four adults can travel correctly with great comfort. The distribution of the seats in two rows of seats, two seats, facing each other, which favors a more pleasant environment in each movement.
The security elements have been taken care of to the maximum. The company has developed an airbag system capable of protecting the four occupants, regardless of the travel direction in which they are traveling.
En route safety of the robotaxi chore in charge of its level 5 autonomous driving system that has four external points, located in the upper corners, where lidar sensors, radar, and cameras are located, which provide a view of the environment with a 270-degree field of view from all four ends of the vehicle.
“The vehicle design has more than 100 safety innovations that do not appear in conventional cars, including a new airbag system for two-way vehicles and car seats that envelop the passengers, which is equivalent to five-star crash safety protections for all four seats. The cars use a unique sensor architecture of cameras, radar, and LIDAR to obtain an unsurpassed 270-degree field of view at all four corners of the car, eliminating typical blind spots and allowing the car to track objects next to it constantly and behind him, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.”
Autonomous and with Remote Control
Each robotaxi can be piloted remotely from the Zoox operations center, from which they can talk to the occupants in real-time. The company ensures that its car, still without a name, reaches level 5 of autonomy.
The startup has confirmed that they are testing these autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Foster City. The idea of this project is to compete with Lyft and Uber starting in 2022.
Zoox’s vehicle features a 133 kWh battery, one of the largest available in an electric car to date. With such a battery pack, the company announces that this robotaxi can operate continuously for up to 16 hours on a single charge.
The company has not revealed the autonomy of its new proposal.
Jesse Levinson, CTO and Co-Founder of Zoox, add a few facts about vehicle safety: “Safety is the foundation of everything we do. Building a vehicle from scratch has allowed us to reimagine passenger safety, moving from reactive to proactive measures. These include new safety features like 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 FMVSS major crash tests, and we continue to seek new and innovative ways to protect our drivers and others on the road.”