Amazon’s newly-acquired subsidiary, Zoox, has unveilled an electric driverless pod which can travel at up to 75 miles per hour and go for 16 hours between charges.
The company says the vehicle is designed for dense, urban environments. It offers bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, which enables manoeuvring through compact spaces and changing directions without the need to reverse.
The 3.63m long vehicle features a four-seat, face-to-face symmetrical seating configuration that eliminates the steering wheel and bench seating seen in conventional car designs.
“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,” said Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Officer. “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 says the vehicle has more than 100 safety innovations not featured in conventional cars, including an airbag system for bidirectional vehicles and carriage seating that “envelops” passengers, which is equal to five-star crash safety protections for all four seats. The vehicles use cameras,
radar, and LIDAR to obtain a 270-degree field of view on all four corners of the vehicle.
“Safety is the foundation of everything we do. Building a vehicle from the ground-up has given us the opportunity to reimagine passenger safety, shifting from reactive to proactive measures,” added Jesse Levinson, Zoox Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder. “These include new safety features such as our 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 key FMVSS crash tests, and we are continuing to look for new, innovative ways to protect our riders and others on the road.”
(Picture – Zoox)