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Is This the Car of the Future?

Bezos-owned Zoox reveals self-driving taxi with no steering wheel
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2020 3:15 AM CST
Updated Dec 15, 2020 6:57 AM CST

(Newser) – Taxi service could someday look quite different: Zoox, a self-driving startup acquired by Jeff Bezos' Amazon in June, on Monday revealed its autonomous taxi prototype. The robotaxi, which does away with the steering wheel, pedals, and driver's seat entirely, "reimagines the entire premise of a car," per Mashable, which notes that most other self-driving car companies are sticking to modifying existing vehicles. Zoox, on the other hand, unveiled a "boxcar" or "carriage-style" car that features two benches where up to four riders can face each other and doors that slide open. (The Cruise Origin, from parent company General Motors, has a similar concept.)

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The dual-battery vehicle can run for 16 hours between charges and reach speeds of up to 75mph, per CNBC. It features a touchscreen riders can use to interact with the driverless vehicle, which they can hail using an app, can drive in both directions, and can change directions and navigate small spaces easily. Cameras and sensors eliminate blind spots, and all four seats have airbags. It is still being tested, and there is no set date for its rollout, though it is expected to be after the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. CNN notes the company has not yet even offered a date for when testing on public roads will commence. (Read more self-driving car stories.)

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