The very secretive startup Zoox, developing the autonomous car, has closed an investment round this July with 500 million dollars investment, bringing the total so far to 800 million. The company valuation is now at 3.2 billion dollar.
Founders Tim Kentley-Klay and Jesse Levinson invited with Ashlee Vance – known for his biography of Elon Musk – for the first time a journalist to the back stages of the company. So far only few details were known.
There have been always Zoox’s Toyota Highlanders spotted for testing autonomous driving. Also the mission is known that Zoox apparently aims at developing a completely new vehicle concept. And details of that concept are now shown to the public in this video. Electric, driveable in both directions, with wheels that allow side drive, and a whole bunch of sensors.
Another video shows the autonomous driving mode through the vehicle’s cameras and the computer, where all sensor data is fusioned and shown as one video.
The startup hopes to have the cars on the roads by 2020 and change the transport to ride-hailing. So far the startup’s headquarter was in an abandoned firehouse on the campus of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), but soon the 500 plus employees will be moving to their new offices in Foster City.
A more detailed report by Ashlee Vance about Zoox is on Bloomberg.
This article has also been published in German.