The first “self-driving car” vehicle from Zoox, the autonomous vehicle maker that Amazon bought for $ 1.2 billion earlier this year, was spotted before its official unveiling on December 14th.
Images shared first on Reddit and then on Twitter show the Push-Me-Pull-You vehicle in front of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. It looks like it was filmed before its official reveal later this month.
@zoox is shooting everything in @FairmontSF today. Looks like 2021 to me! Exciting future ahead of us! #selfdrivingcars #innovation pic.twitter.com/8XjS4qPOcV
– Christian Claus (@ Christian1Claus) December 6, 2020
However, Zoox, perhaps one of the lesser-known self-driving startups, hasn’t kept its vehicles entirely under lock and key.
No effort has been made to disguise the test vehicles in recent years. which has taken the form of modified SUVs or its self-contained autonomous vehicle platform. With these pictures we finally get a confirmation of what the body will look like.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson – via FlickrZoox test vehicles at the original headquarters, a former SLAC fire station. The VH moniker was used for all of the early proof-of-concept test vehicles. It is indicative of an early derogatory press report that Zoox was just “vaporware horseshit”. They hugged and expanded to manifest this!
It is also clear that there are bus doors in the middle of the side of the vehicle, which enable passengers to get on and off board without any problems.
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This means that all the front passenger seats that are oriented towards the center of the vehicle appear to be facing each other. We saw this as a possibility when the company was hosting a press day at their headquarters and their VH1 test vehicles had the same layout.
Photo credit: Reddit – u / lakhailb87 Image shared by Lakailb87 on Reddit. Zoox appeared to be filming outside a hotel in San Francisco. The LiDAR sensors on every corner are clearly visible. Without the red lights it would be hard to know if this car is coming or going.
Obviously there is no room for a human driver because as a self-driving car he doesn’t need one.
Zoox also teased an unveiling video on their YouTube that gives practically nothing, but shows the shape of the headlights and a covert silhouette.
The outline of the vehicle reflects the shape of the vehicle in the images shared on Reddit. I think we can take these as representative of what will be revealed next week.
Earlier this year, online retail giant Amazon bought Zoox for $ 1.2 billion. It was the company’s biggest foray into self-driving technology and one of the company’s largest acquisitions ever.
At the time, it wasn’t clear what Amazon would do with Zoox. The online shop already owns a handful of robotics and autonomous vehicle manufacturers that developed its warehouse robots.
Amazon said it wanted to help Zoox achieve its dream, but it rarely happens that acquisitions of this magnitude will only help. Currently, Zoox is on its own, but it is unlikely to be the case forever.
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Published on December 7, 2020 – 11:06 UTC