Zoox Gets California Driverless Permit
Photo credit: Zoox Zoox, the self-driving company recently acquired by Amazon, has obtained a formal permit from state authorities…
|Photo credit: Zoox|
Zoox, the self-driving company recently acquired by Amazon, has obtained a formal permit from state authorities to begin testing its self-driving vehicles in the U.S. state of California. Zoox has been granted a permit to test two autonomous vehicles without a safety driver behind in specified areas near the company’s Foster City headquarters, a permit issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Zoox is the latest addition to a small cohort of self-driving companies with formal permits to test vehicles even without the usually mandatory presence of a safety driver, a cohort that includes the likes of Waymo, Nuro, and AutoX.
Zoox obtaining a formal permit for its driverless tests marks a win for e-commerce giant Amazon, which reached a deal to acquire the self-driving company just in June of this year. Before its acquisition, Zoox had run into funding problems even after raising nearly $1 billion as a private company, with Amazon swooping in to acquire the company in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. Zoox will now continue its self-driving work under Amazon, presumably with very stable financial backing. Unlike most self-driving companies, Zoox is working on building its own autonomous car from scratch to finish rather than outfitting its technology on already-made cars. Such an endeavor comes at a high cost, which was a major reason Zoox ran into fiscal problems even after raising nearly a billion dollars in private funding. Now under Amazon’s pockets, the company will likely have access to ample resources to continue its work, with its current headcount of nearly 1,000.