Zoox, an autonomous driving company, recently announced it will be testing out their self-driving cars in Las Vegas. This is Zoox's second city where they will be testing their autonomous vehicles after they chose San Francisco to begin tests.
Zoox, which is based in the Silicon Valley town of Foster City, Calif., will start by testing its vehicles on Las Vegas roads, with the goal of ultimately launching an autonomous taxi service there. The company received permission from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles for public testing in early 2019.
Driving in diverse environments is seen as a crucial element in preparing autonomous vehicles for wider-scale launch. Zoox says that Las Vegas offers “an opportunity to extend learning in a second dense urban environment; one that has diverse and unique use cases compared to driving in San Francisco. For example, Las Vegas provides interesting scenarios for our vehicles to encounter, like reversible lanes, complex pick-up and drop-off zones, high temperatures and more night-time activity.”
Aside from the mass AVs that descend on the city for each CES show, Las Vegas is also playing host to a fleet of self-driving taxis operated by Lyft and Aptiv. Earlier this year, the companies said they have completed 50,000 trips.
Presently, the company is using Toyota SUVs to test its self-driving hardware and software. But Zoox also plans to introduce a purpose-built self-driving vehicle without traditional controls.
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