Just before the turn of the year, Waymo is unveiling a new vehicle for its Waymo One robotaxi service. It’s a minivan designed specifically for a robotaxi service by Swedish-Chinese manufacturer Geely that has a battery-electric powertrain. The Swedish-built vehicle, called Zeekr, has two wide-opening sliding doors, and does not have a steering wheel, pedals or other controls in the front row. Only a touchscreen for passengers is still present, which serves to inform passengers and select certain functions, similar to the Jaguars and Fiact Chryslers previously used in the robotaxi service.
The seats offer plenty of foot room, and the vehicle also has some headroom. The seats also recline generously to allow passengers to sit comfortably. This vehicle also seems to offer the possibility of providing disabled people with access to autonomous and individual mobility.
This type of vehicle is expected to be used as a robotic taxi vehicle in fleets over the next few years, but Waymo did not give an exact date as to when the first vehicles will be put into service.
Since 2009, Waymo has used six types of vehicles: Toyota Prius, Lexus, Firefly, Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivan, Jaguar iPace and so-called Class 8 trucks. Two of the vehicles were or are fully electric (Firefly and Jaguar iPace), the others hybrids, with the exception of the truck.
This article was also published in German.