Zoox, an autonomous mobility company, has completed a significant milestone in the world of autonomous vehicles. The company deployed the world’s first purpose-built robotaxi on open public roads with passengers on February 11, 2023, making history as the first time a purpose-built autonomous robotaxi without traditional driving controls carried passengers on open public roads.
Zoox completed rigorous testing on private roads and received approval from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to operate its robotaxi on the state’s public roads. To date, Zoox is the only purpose-built robotaxi permitted on California public roads that is self-certified to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
The ground-up design of the vehicle does not include traditional driving controls such as a steering wheel or pedals but incorporates FMVSS performance requirements directly into its vehicle and adds over 100 safety innovations not available in today’s passenger cars.
Following the historic run, Zoox will deploy its employee shuttle service in its headquarters of Foster City, California. The employee shuttle service will be offered exclusively to all Zoox full-time employees, with the robotaxi capable of transporting up to four people at a time on a public route between Zoox’s two main office buildings, traveling up to 35 mph, and handling left-hand and right-hand turns, bi-directional turns, traffic lights, cyclists, pedestrians, vehicles, and other road agents on this route.
“The founding premise of Zoox was that the best way to advance transportation and increase safety on our roadways was to reimagine the full mobility experience. That means going beyond retrofitting today’s passenger vehicles with autonomous technology,” said Jesse Levinson, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Zoox.
Zoox’s vision for mobility goes beyond the vehicle itself to include a comprehensive and cohesive autonomous mobility service, including charging and maintenance infrastructure and fleet management tools, in addition to vehicle software and hardware. This full-stack approach enables a more comprehensive, rider-focused deployment of the Zoox vision for urban mobility_