In June, Amazon acquired Zoox, a self-driving car startup. Now, six months later, the company is lifting the lid off of its first self-driving taxi project.
The autonomous mobility company announced today that its robotaxi can hold four people and travel up to 75 miles-per-hour. It can go for 16 hours on a single charge. As you can see from the picture above, it’s also carriage style, meaning passengers will be facing each other.
Also, note that there is no steering wheel or any other driver controls. This robotaxi is meant to be fully self-driving. The bidirectional design also means that the carriage can travel normally in both directions. This is accomplished through four-wheel steering.
At a glance, you might be worried about the safety of such a vehicle, but Zoox is adamant that the robotaxi is, in fact, safe.
From the press release, it is noted that the self-driving vehicle includes over “100 safety innovations” ranging from a new airbag system for the carriage-style ride and multiple cameras and LiDAR that are used to eliminate blind spots that drivers normally have to deal with when on the road.
Overall, this is definitely an interesting design and premise for a robotaxi. Will it ever release? Time will tell. With companies like Uber getting out of the self-driving vehicle game, it’s safe to bet that this type of tech is still pretty far away from real-world use.