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Zoox robo-taxis hit California roadways

Feb 14, 2023

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Autonomous robo-taxis are now on the roadways in Northern California. Vehicles are heavily equipped with sensors, but there’s no driver, pedals or steering wheel. The Zoox unmanned taxis are greenlit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and they are legal to be out on the roads – in a limited capacity. 

For now, Zoox is only a shuttle service for its own employees along a two-mile radius between the company’s two buildings. But that two mile radius is not a straight shot. The route includes right and left turns, and several traffic lights with pedestrian paths. The shuttle is also programmed to park in the company’s parking lot.

The company Zoox, owned by Amazon, unveiled the taxi prototype two years ago. Self-driving taxis, once an idea for the future, have now made their way onto California roadways.

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KARAH RUCKER: AUTONOMOUS ROBO TAXIS ARE NOW ON THE ROADWAYS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. VEHICLES EQUIPPED HEAVY WITH SENSORS — BUT NO DRIVER, PETALS, OR STEERING WHEEL — IS GETTING THE GREEN LIGHT FROM CALIFORNIA’S DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES — THESE “ZOOX UNMANNED TAXIS” ARE LEGAL TO BE OUT AND ABOUT…BUT OF COURSE IN A LIMITED SCOPE.

FOR NOW…ZOOX IS ONLY A SHUTTLE SERVICE FOR ITS OWN EMPLOYEES ALONG A TWO-MILE RADIUS BETWEEN THE COMPANY’S TWO BUILDINGS.

BUT THAT TWO MILE RADIUS IS NO STRAIGHT SHOT. THE ROUTE INCLUDES RIGHT-HAND AND LEFT-HAND TURNS, SEVERAL TRAFFIC LIGHTS WITH PEDESTRIAN PATHS, AND ITS PROGRAMMED TO PARK IN ITS PARKING LOT.

THE COMPANY ZOOX…OWNED BY TECH GIANT AMAZON…UNVEILED THE TAXI PROTOTYPE TWO YEARS AGO.
SELF-DRIVING TAXIS…ONCE AN IDEA FOR THE FUTURE…HAS MADE IT’S WAY TO CALIFORNIA ROADWAYS.


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