NEW YORK (AP) — Zoox, a self-driving vehicle company owned by Amazon, says it has successfully carried passengers on public roads — a development that helps the California company inch closer to bringing the vehicle to the general public.
The company conducted the first run of its four-person “robotaxi” with employees on board Saturday, the Amazon subsidiary said Monday.
The vehicle, which doesn’t have a steering wheel or pedals, ran a mile-long (1.6-kilometer) route between two Zoox buildings at the company’s headquarters in Foster City, California. The carriage-style interior of the vehicle has two benches that face each other. It measures just under 12 feet (3.7 meters) long, about a foot (a third of a meter) shorter than a standard Mini Cooper and can travel up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph).
Zoox, which was founded in 2014 and bought by Seattle-based Amazon six years later, says its vehicle can navigate roads and avoid collisions. Before Saturday’s test, the company said it completed testing on private roads and got necessary approvals from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
With the test now completed, Zoox says its planning to launch a shuttle service exclusively for its employees.