Amazon-owned autonomous vehicle firm Zoox has unveiled an electric, autonomous robotaxi that is capable of moving at up to 75 mph (about 120 kph), with four people seated in it. The development of the vehicle was shrouded in mystery for a long time, and it looks like that the e-commerce giant is finally ready to make an effective impact in the transport sector.
According to the press release of the California-based company, the carriage-style vehicle offers bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, and is 3.6 meters long, which allows manoeuvring through compact spaces and changing directions without the need to reverse.
The robotaxi’s sensor architecture includes cameras, radars, and lidars, that are placed to provide an overlapping field of view and 360°coverage, allowing the vehicle to consistently track objects next to and behind it, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users. “Building a vehicle from the ground-up has given us the opportunity to reimagine passenger safety,” Zoox’s CTO Jesse Levinson said in the press release.
The autonomous vehicle also comes with an airbag system that envelope the passengers to better protect their head, neck, and chest. Additionally, it offers each rider a wireless mobile charger, as well as a screen to check their expected time of arrival, location, and route.
According to the company’s press release, the vehicle is designed to operate in predefined areas with the help of a purpose-built geometric and semantic map. Its prediction system uses machine learning to anticipate what people and vehicles will do next.
“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,” Zoox CEO Aicha Evans said in the press release.