Zoox, Amazon’s autonomous vehicle effort, unveiled Monday its all-electric robotaxi prototype.
Amazon says the vehicle is designed for dense, urban environments. The vehicle is capable of operating up to 75 miles per hour and has bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, which enables maneuvering through compact spaces and changing directions without the need to reverse.
The car is 3.63m long and features a four-seat, face-to-face symmetrical seating configuration that eliminates the steering wheel and bench seating seen in conventional car designs. The vehicle has a 133 kWh battery, allowing it to operate for up to 16 continuous hours on a single charge.
“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 Chief Executive Aicha Evans said. “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.”
Zoox touts more than 100 safety innovations, including a novel airbag system for bidirectional vehicles. The company is using a combination of sensors, radar, and LIDAR for a 270-degree field of view on all four corners of the vehicle.
The company has been testing prototypes of its self-driving vehicle in San Francisco and Foster City, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.