Zoox unveils its driverless robotaxi
After six years, Zoox, the self-driving car company now owned by Amazon, has unveiled what it believes to be the future of driverless transport.
The boxy vehicle, which shares more design language in common with a ski-lift gondola than a traditional people car, features a wide passenger area and several sensors. This battery-powered vehicle features two banks of seats facing each other and typifying the company's ambitious vision for a future where cars drive themselves. Given the lack of space for a driver, the vehicle only measures about 13 feet long.
Amazon acquired Zoox in June, and as of now, it looks as if the company will plow ahead with its people-moving vision, rather than diving into the autonomous package-moving business which Amazon has been exploring in recent years. As of now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't approved a vehicle like Zoox's for use on U.S. roads (though it has approved Nuro's far smaller autonomous delivery vehicle), so it's unclear when we'd see something like this ferrying people around.
Mike Murphy ( @mcwm) is the director of special projects at Protocol, focusing on the industries being rapidly upended by technology and the companies disrupting incumbents. Previously, Mike was the technology editor at Quartz, where he frequently wrote on robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer electronics.