After Google’s Waymo Project and UberATG, the recent contender in the autonomous vehicle space makes it evident that the driverless future will be upon us quicker than we anticipate! Who is it? Let’s find out.
Owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the self-driving startup called Zoox Inc. has recently unveiled a fully autonomous electric vehicle which doesn’t have a steering wheeling and has the ability to drive day long on a single charge!
Aicha Evans, CEO at Zoox, said that their vehicle is all about re-imaging transportation as a whole and therefore not only do they have a long-term vision to succeed in it, they are also equipped with sufficient capital.
Described as a robotaxi, Zoox’s vehicle can carry up to four passengers at a time and can travel at the maximum speed of 75 miles per hours. The company said that the driverless carriage comes with two battery packs which ensure that the vehicle generates enough power to get 16 hours of run time before it needs recharging.
Zoox Car: The Future of Ride-Hailing?
Now, when it comes to commercialisation, the recently revealed car will be made available as an app-based ride-hailing service and not for personal ownership.
Even though the company didn’t indicate how much the rides would cost, Zoox executives said that it will be way more affordable and competitive with the services which are currently operated by Uber and Lyft.
Zoox was acquired in June 2020 by Amazon for an undisclosed sum and it is currently one of several companies who are racing to become the first company to put fully autonomous vehicles on public roads.
The quirky and futuristic looking mint-green vehicles are years away from deployment and are being built at a facility in Fremont, California. Since its founding in 2014, the unveiling of a production car is a significant milestone for Zoox and goes to show how close we are to witnessing on-road autonomous vehicles.
Now, that being said, Zoox isn’t the first to unveil a fully capable self-riding passenger carriage. In January 2020, General Motor’s Cruise revealed a battery-powered shuttle called the Origin and much like Zoox, the Cruise also plans to commercialise their vehicle as a ride-sharing service.
When news first broke about Amazon acquiring Zoox, industry analysts speculated that the e-commerce giant will eventually deploy them as driverless delivery vehicles. However, now that we are in the clear about the company’s true intention, it looks like drivers will soon become defunct in the near future as not only Zoox but other similar companies with skin in the game are all gunning for the ride-hailing industry.
In the not so distant future, it is very much possible that having human drivers is simply considered an unnecessary risk and therefore slowly becomes a memory of that is relived only as a reminder of a more dangerous period.
What are your thoughts about the future of autonomous transportation? Let us know in the comments down below. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.