The California Department of Motor Vehicles approved the on-road tests of Amazon’s self driving “Zoox” taxi last week on California roads along a route between two office buildings at the company’s Foster City headquarters at no more than 35 mph.
Zoox, Amazon’s autonomous vehicle project, revealed on Monday that it is currently testing passenger-carrying self-driving robotaxis on public roads in California.
According to CNBC, the vehicles, which resemble minibusses, feature no steering wheels or pedals, four-wheel steering, and the ability to go in both directions without having to reverse.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles approved the on-road tests last week, and they started this week. The tests are just for transporting Zoox personnel over a one-mile public route between two office buildings at the company’s Foster City headquarters at no more than 35 MPH.
Executives claim that “dozens” of them have been constructed; one of them was used to transport workers over the weekend.
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It’s interesting that Zoox doesn’t have to report every time the system disengages or when a human driver has to take over whereas businesses testing autonomous cars on public roads in California are.
Recently, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told Bloomberg TV that fully autonomous passenger planes are inching closer to takeoff, with it being only a matter of when not if.
“If the vehicle is in a situation where it needs help because either it needs to do something it’s not normally allowed to do, or because it doesn’t know how to handle a situation, we have what’s called a ‘fusion center,’ with trained guidance operators monitoring the output of the scene and then will give guidance to the vehicle and either give it permission to do something — but the vehicle is still in charge and does all the driving — or drop breadcrumbs on alternative trajectory, or in the worst-case scenario pull over,” Zoox CEO Aicha Evans said in a statement to reporters.