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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 carriage-style vehicle offers bi-directional 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 a release.
The four-seat, face-to-face symmetrical seating configuration is clubbed with an airbag system that envelopes the passengers to better protect their head, neck, and chest. In addition, it offers each rider a wireless mobile charger, as well as a screen to check their expected time of arrival, location and route.
Zoox is powered by a 133kWh battery, allowing it to operate for up to 16 hours continuously on single charge.
According to the company, 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.
The California-based company claims that the vehicle is L5 capable, and is designed for autonomous ride-hailing in dense, urban environments. It has been tested in San Francisco, Las Vegas, in addition to California, and will be manufactured in the U.S., Zoox stated.
“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.