Fully functional, electric, autonomous vehicle will be available in urban environments in the US In December 2020, Zoox revealed its fully electric autonomous vehicle in the following way. FOSTER CITY, […]
Fully functional, electric, autonomous vehicle will be available in urban environments in the US
In December 2020, Zoox revealed its fully electric autonomous vehicle in the following way.
FOSTER CITY, Calif., Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Autonomous mobility company Zoox Inc. today revealed its fully functional, electric, autonomous vehicle that is designed for dense, urban environments. Zoox is the first in the industry to showcase a driving, purpose-built robotaxi capable of operating up to 75 miles per hour. Since its inception in 2014, Zoox has combined artificial intelligence, robotics, vehicle design, and sustainable energy to bring its vision of reinventing personal transportation to life — making the future safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable for everyone.
Designed and manufactured in the U.S., Zoox is the only vehicle to offer bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, which enables maneuvering through compact spaces and changing directions without the need to reverse. At 3.63m long, the vehicle has one of the smallest footprints in the automotive industry. The vehicle features a four-seat, face-to-face symmetrical seating configuration that eliminates the steering wheel and bench seating seen in conventional car designs. The vehicle also features a 133 kWh battery, one of the largest available in electric vehicles today, allowing it to operate for up to 16 continuous hours on a single charge.
“Revealing our functioning and driving vehicle is an exciting milestone in our company’s history and marks an important step on our journey towards deploying an autonomous ride-hailing service,” said Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Officer. “We are transforming the rider experience to provide superior mobility-as-a-service for cities. And as we see the alarming statistics around carbon emissions and traffic accidents, it’s more important than ever that we build a sustainable, safe solution that allows riders to get from point A to point B.”
The vehicle design has more than 100 safety innovations not featured in conventional cars, including a novel airbag system for bidirectional vehicles and carriage seating that envelops passengers, which is equal to five-star crash safety protections for all four seats. The vehicles utilize a unique sensor architecture of cameras, radar, and LIDAR to obtain an unrivaled 270-degree field of view on all four corners of the vehicle, eliminating typical blind spots and allowing the vehicle to consistently track objects next to and behind it, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users.
“Safety is the foundation of everything we do. Building a vehicle from the ground-up has given us the opportunity to reimagine passenger safety, shifting from reactive to proactive measures,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder. “These include new safety features such as our airbag design, redundant hardware throughout the vehicle, a unique sensor architecture, and a custom AI stack that detects and mitigates potential risks. Our vehicle has passed key FMVSS crash tests, and we are continuing to look for new, innovative ways to protect our riders and others on the road.”
Who is Zoox?
Based on its homepage, the company profile of Zoox is described as follows.
Zoox was founded to make personal transportation safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable—for everyone. To achieve that goal, the team created a whole new form of transportation.
Zoox will provide mobility-as-a-service in dense urban environments. We will handle the driving, charging, maintenance, and upgrades for our fleet of vehicles. The rider will simply pay for the service.
In 2020, Zoox joined forces with Amazon. And in the process, solidified our future in the autonomous vehicle industry.
We are focused on testing on private and public roads as we move towards launching the first Zoox ride-hailing service.
Who is Amazon?
According to its homepage, mission and mentality of Amazon are described in the following way.
Our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.
Amazon’s “Day 1” mentality is our approach of doing everything with the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of a new organization on its first day.
Working to earn and keep our customers’ trust is the single biggest driver of Amazon’s Day 1 approach. One example that illustrates our mindset is Amazon’s decision-making process that asks employees to consider whether an action is a one-way door—consequential and nearly irreversible—or a two-way door because it is easy to change course and go back. Discover more about who we are through our Annual Letters to Shareholders from 1997 through today.
New players becomes threats to traditional players
In the latter part of 2010s, we have seen the acronym “GAFA”, which represent for Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, in several articles, newspapers and other media. GAFA disrupt many industries and “Amazon Effect” is one phrase to express how Big Tech change the market. In this sense, mobility sector is without exception.
In the press release, Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Officer mentions that “We are transforming the rider experience to provide superior mobility-as-a-service for cities. And as we see the alarming statistics around carbon emissions and traffic accidents, it’s more important than ever that we build a sustainable, safe solution that allows riders to get from point A to point B.”
When we think of mobility, we have to take care of the rider experience. As a result, automotive manufacturers should consider how riders feel about their driving, and traditional players do gather and analyze their data and transform it into valuable services and solutions. This is because we do not know how riders feel about their driving if we just sell vehicles to them. In the process to gather and analyze riders’ data, software companies have more expertise in it. Therefore, these new players are getting big threats to traditional players such as Toyota and Volkswagen.
In addition to this, GAFA have more power to generate cash and increase its market capitalization. Thus, each of Tech Giants is able to invest in or acquire various companies, and they can expand their capabilities and reduce future competitions. Most likely, Zoox’s new announcement is the example of this trend.