Amazon’s self-driving cars are coming to Seattle

She said Zoox, the self-driving car company owned by Amazon, is testing its cars on the streets of Seattle to collect data and test new devices in the face of frequent rain. The company also plans to open an office there in 2022.

Seattle will be the third city to host Zoox Level 3 self-driving cars, after San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Zoox has been testing its vehicles in Las Vegas and the Gulf region for four years, before Amazon acquired the self-driving company in 2020.

But to be able to further train its technology, it must run experiments in other locations with different environmental conditions, such as Seattle.

The company said it is deploying a small number of vehicles to gain a foothold before deciding how to expand its operations there.

She added: “We are excited to take the test in Seattle. The data we collect is invaluable to the continuous development of our AI stack.

Zoox uses Toyota Highlander SUVs that have been modified with sensors and computers to drive autonomously with a human driver behind the wheel.

The company is also building its own car. It introduced a fully self-driving robotic taxi last year, a small, two-way, four-wheeled vehicle that lacks typical controls like a steering wheel and pedals..

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Amazon’s Zoox is testing its self-driving vehicles

The company spokeswoman did not disclose how many employees are based in Seattle. But she said Zoox has more than 1,300 employees and aims to create more than 450 jobs in 2021.

Waymo, a sister company to Google and a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., tested its cars in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb east of Seattle across Lake Washington.

Like Zoox, Waymo cited humid city conditions as ideal for testing self-driving vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles had difficulty seeing in inclement weather such as rain or fog. Vehicle sensors, such as cameras and lidars, can be blocked by snow, ice or heavy rain. Her ability to read road signs may be impaired.

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