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Zoox is a start-up that aims to develop different autonomous taxis, focused on being useful to the user and extremely safe.
It seems that in 2020 many milestones match, the first arrival of electric cars with autonomies decent , second mass occurrence of autonomous cars in cities that allow their movement and Finally (and second derivative point) self taxis reach a niche market in which Zoox wants to hit hard in five years.
Tim Kentley-Klay, a designer Australian, and Jesse Levinson, an engineer who worked at Stanford University with Sebastian Thrun, the first director of the autonomous driving program of Google, created Zoox whose goal was to create an elegant independent taxi, luxury electric-wing doors gull and the Four passengers faced located . The code name was L4 and its peculiarity is that he had no front or rear, the car could be driven using both ends and had no windshield, nor steering wheel or brake pedal.
At the end of 2014 went into a venture capital firm, from which the name is not known because it entered hidden mode , in order to launch the project by ahead and give it the necessary financial lung to develop over the next five years a fully functional prototype in which future autonomous taxis will be based.
Large manufacturers need a decade to develop the car we drive. Zoox spent 12 years making a prototype.
Currently Zoox has patented various ideas for the software that controls your autonomic taxi and in December 2014 moved its headquarters to a disused fire station in Menlo Park, thus being a enclosure do not have to ask permission to test with its autonomous taxis.
As I said, the greatest peculiarity is that the car has no front or rear and is equipped with four engines (one installed on each wheel) and a battery also all four wheels can rotate improving maneuverability in difficult sites. Thus the energy loss is reduced and safety is improved by having duplicate systems. The result is a heavier one to use autonomous car, but according to its designers, much safer.
At present, the prototype has been built on a brief two-seater with four independent modules. Its autonomy allows a circulation of 30 minutes with a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour due to a weight of 400 kilograms.
The roadmap is quite optimistic Zoox they want to have the prototype in late 2016 to be adapted to the roads in 2019, and only a year later debut as an independent cab in Las Vegas . Until it reaches this point the company will have to overcome numerous bureaucratic obstacles and prove they can compete against autonomous car of Google or Lexus. Only time will tell if it is successful Zoox waiting
May 25, 2015
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