Amazon’s Zoox Robotaxi Under Investigation by NHTSA After Crashes

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Amazon's Zoox Robotaxi Under Investigation by NHTSA After Crashes
NHTSA looking into Amazon.com's self-driving Zoox vehicles after two crashes

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Monday that it’s looking into Amazon.com’s self-driving Zoox vehicles after two crashes happened where the cars unexpectedly stopped, causing two motorcyclists to get injured.

These incidents led to the NHTSA starting an investigation into 500 Zoox vehicles with automated driving systems. Each crash involved a Toyota Highlander equipped with Zoox’s automated driving system.

A spokesperson from Zoox said they’re reviewing the information request and are committed to working closely with NHTSA. They highlighted the importance of transparency and collaboration with regulators.

Zoox previously announced plans to expand its vehicle testing in California and Nevada to include more areas, higher speeds, and nighttime driving. This expansion is part of its competition with Alphabet’s Waymo robotaxis. Amazon bought Zoox in 2020 for $1.3 billion.

Amazon's Zoox Robotaxi Under Investigation by NHTSA After Crashes
NHTSA looking into Amazon.com’s self-driving Zoox vehicles after two crashes

NHTSA stated that both crashes happened during the day and within Zoox’s system limits. They confirmed that the Zoox vehicles were using the Automated Driving System (ADS) just before the collisions.

The investigation will focus on how the Zoox Automated Driving System performed during the crashes and its behavior around pedestrians in crosswalks and similar rear-end collision situations.

Back in March 2023, NHTSA started investigating Zoox’s self-certification of a robotaxi without standard driving controls. The probe aims to determine if Zoox’s certification relied on its own test procedures or if certain standards were considered inapplicable due to the vehicle’s unique setup.

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By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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