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 Amazon Zoox robotaxi infographic
Graphic shows Amazon’s Zoox robotaxi.


Amazon Zoox robotaxi makes maiden voyage on public road

By Duncan Mil

February 14, 2023 - Amazon’s Zoox robotaxi has made successful tests on public roads in California with passengers on board. The self-driving vehicle does not require a safety driver.

“Becoming the first company to operate a purpose-built robotaxi with passengers on open public roads in California is a significant milestone in not only Zoox’s journey, but for the autonomous vehicle industry at large,” said Aicha Evans, Chief Executive Officer at Zoox, announcing the maiden run on Monday (February 13, 2023).

Zoox’s design does not include traditional driving controls such as a steering wheel or pedals, incorporates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards performance requirements, and has more than 100 safety features not available in today’s passenger cars.

Zoox executives said the company began the tests after it received approval from the California Department of Motor Vehicles last week.

The robotaxi can transport up to four people at a time on a public route between Zoox’s two main office buildings, travelling up to 120km/h (75mph). The taxi can handle left-hand and right-hand turns, bi-directional turns, and respond to traffic lights, cyclists, pedestrians, vehicles, and other obstacles on the road.

If a robotaxi needs help, it calls a “fusion centre” where human operators can give guidance or permission for the vehicle to continue driving.

“Today, with the announcement of the maiden run of our autonomous employee shuttle, we are adding to the progress this industry has seen over the last year and bringing Zoox one step closer to a commercialized purpose-built robotaxi service for the general public,” Evans said.

PUBLISHED: 14/02/2023; STORY: Graphic News