Zoox made history as the first purpose-built robotaxi with no manual controls to drive autonomously on public roads with passengers, after being granted a permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
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Zoox, a self-driving car company, has achieved a historic milestone with its robotaxi's first autonomous voyage on public roads with passengers, marking the first time a purpose-built robotaxi without manual controls has achieved this feat, following extensive testing and federal certification to operate on public roads.
Zoox's full-time employees will soon be able to experience autonomous rides between Foster City offices, and the company is a step closer to bringing its robotaxi to the general public, promising a future of seamless autonomous transportation in cities.
- The robotaxis were built by Zoox, a self-driving startup that Amazon acquired for $1.3bn in 2020.
- The test involved a successful mile-long drive between two Zoox buildings in Foster City, California, as part of a no-cost employee shuttle service.
- The Zoox robotaxi is fully autonomous and does not have a steering wheel or pedals, and can carry up to four passengers.
- Amazon has not provided a timeline for a commercial launch of the service, which will require additional government clearances.
- Autonomous vehicle technology has been slower to roll out than expected, with Ford and Volkswagen shutting down their self-driving units and focusing on driver-assistance technology instead.
- Other companies still pursuing self-driving technology include General Motors' Cruise and Alphabet's Waymo.
- Zoox is still on track to reach 2,500 employees in 2023, up from just under 2,000 at the beginning of the year.
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