Zoox, an Amazon Venture, Expands Autonomous Car Operations in Las Vegas

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The company has been trying them since then so they are ready to go on sale to the public, according to the story.

Amazon-Owned Zoox

Zoox: The robotaxis can now work in more places thanks to Animal Mobility, a company that Amazon owns. Zoox said in a report released on March 14 that the company is also driving the cars faster, at night, and when it’s lightly raining.

The first times Zoox drove its self-driving cars on public roads were in Foster City, California, and Las Vegas in 2023. The company has been trying them since then so they are ready to go on sale to the public, according to the story.

Since the last update, the company has added more areas in Las Vegas where the cars can be used. The update said that it can now be used up to five miles from the main office of the company.

“Deploying our robotaxi in a larger geofence is a big milestone for Zoox,” the company said in the update. “Operating autonomously at higher speeds, with required lane changes, in light rain, and at night are key achievements too — they’re complex scenarios that are required to operate our service.”

“Driving in these larger areas exposes our robotaxis to the busiest conditions they’ve ever encountered and provides invaluable data and learnings as we continue to scale,” Zoox said in the update.

In both Las Vegas and Foster City, the company has raised the cars’ top speed from 35 mph to 45 mph. It can now work at night and in light rain, according to the update.

Zoox Cars in Las Vegas
Zoox Cars in Las Vegas [Credit: Forbes]
The test fleet and robotaxis data from the company were used to teach the machine learning (ML) models that drive the cars, according to a new report. All of these moves were able to happen because of this.

“As always, safety is foundational to Zoox, so we’ll continue to be measured and thoughtful in our approach to commercialization,” the company said in the update. “These critical updates bring us closer to safely and confidently offering Zoox to the public.”

In June 2020, Amazon was said to have paid $1.2 billion for Zoox.

In December 2020, Zoox showed off an electric taxi that could drive itself. The business said it was designed for ride-hailing and would work best in places with lots of people. There were four seats in the car, but no wheel to steer it.

The company said in June 2023 that the driving robotaxi would be used in Las Vegas to take Zoox employees on a one-mile run on public roads near the company’s offices. In Foster City, it had been open for about five months.