Zoox is a startup from Silicon Valley working to launch autonomous and electric vehicles on the market. Their latest prototype is called the Robotaxi. Robotaxis are currently tested on several semi-private roads across California.
Zoox is not just building new vehicles, but it’s creating a new form of transportation. Through their autonomous vehicles, they will provide a mobility-as-a-service in dense urban environments. The company will handle the fleet management, users will pay for the service.
Getting to Know Zoox on a Personal Level
Zoox was founded in 2014 by computer scientist Jesse Levinson and entrepreneur Tim Kentley-Klay. From the start, Zoox’s mission was to simplify commutes and make transportation safer with autonomous drive.
The name “Zoox” comes from an aquatic organism known as Zooxanthellae. What do Zoox and this algae-like creature have in common? Zooxanthellae provide coral reefs with sustainable energy. It creates mutually beneficial relationships with coral. Similarly, Zoox with the robotaxi hopes to enhance life in cities through a sustainable mobility service.
Zoox’s first prototype, the VH1, was built in 2015. From that to the current robotaxi it has been quite a journey, that includes several miles of testing and studies both on autonomous drive technology and on the design of the robotaxi.
Highlighting the Zoox Robotaxi’s Qualities
One of the first features that people may notice about Zoox’s robotaxi is that there is no hood. Since it doesn’t have a front or backside, it can move in either direction. In other words, it’s bidirectional.
Unlike other vehicles, in the robotaxi passengers face each other during the ride. In the cockpit, they can find common car features, such as a wireless charger and cupholders. There are also several airbags to protect each passenger’s chest, neck, and head.
Externally, it looks like a futuristic minivan, and just like “regular” cars, it uses light and sound to signal its next move on the road. Each wheel also has an active suspension with an independent braking system.
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Robotaxis are fully autonomous. The company motto is actually “Built for riders, not drivers.” and this shows a very different approach not seen previously in the automotive industry. The focus is more on the passengers’ relaxation and well-being during the ride, rather than on the driving experience.
Zoox and Sustainability
One of the startup’s core values is sustainability. Zoox’s autonomous vehicle is fully electric. If people in the future will be using robotaxis to get around, rather than their own cars, this will considerably help cutting down emissions.
In 2019, the company started purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These credits provide evidence the company is using energy generated from renewable energy sources.
As Zoox continues to grow, the company will focus on these three goals:
- Lower overall greenhouse gas emissions
- Battery recycling and second-life programs
- Responsible, sustainable sourcing of minerals
What’s Next For Zoox?
As the company grows, it plans to stay true to its values and goals. The next step is to expand corporate offices to Las Vegas. To assure their future in the autonomous vehicle industry, they also joined forces with Amazon. Their partnership will spark more news in the future.
Other Interesting Data About The Robotaxi:
-Height of 1.936 m
-Length of 3.630 m
-Turning Circle: 8.4 m
-Top Speed is 75 mph
-Compatible with L5 Charging
-Electric Batteries last up to 16 hours
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com