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Amazon-Owned AV Vehicles Start Testing in Seattle

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Oct. 21, 2021—Amazon's AV unit Zoox will start testing autonomous vehicles in Seattle.

According to a report from the Seattle Times, the California-based AV company will test a fleet of Toyota Highlander SUVs with AV sensors and software in an effort to prepare its AV systems to drive in "a wider range of environments."

“Seattle is not a hot spot of autonomous vehicle engineering yet, but it’s absolutely a hotbed of computer scientists in general,” Zoox cofounder Jesse Levinson said. “Seattle’s weather is also a big reason, to put the Zoox vehicle through inclement weather testing and see how water impacts the sensors.”

Though Zoox assembles its vehicles in a facility in Fremont, Calif., the company hopes the move closer to its parent company will widen its access to resources and staff in the effort to move toward a commercial launch. 

The company declined to say when it might launch its service for public use. 

Image: Chait Goli

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