Zoox, a subsidiary of Amazon, is expanding autonomous vehicle testing to Austin and Miami

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Amazon subsidiary Zoox is expanding autonomous car testing to Austin and Miami, marking the first time the company will administer exams outside the western United States. The robotaxi unit will initially deploy a fleet of reconditioned Toyota Highlanders with human safety drivers in limited areas close to each city’s business and leisure districts.

This testing growth comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating 500 Zoox cars equipped with automated driving programs after two reported crashes. Zoox has tested its autonomous cars in California and Nevada, including steering wheels or pedals and a house for four passengers.

Zoox’s autonomous car, designed for internal transport throughout the company, can carry as many as four passengers. The company joins several robotaxi companies such as Cruise and Waymo, which are also facing NHTSA investigations regarding the efficiency of their cars.

Zoox’s transfer to Austin and Miami provides access to their current testing sites in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Seattle. The company aims to gather information and consider efficiency in numerous urban situations to increase its expertise.

The fully electric Zoox car is designed for urban mobility and lacks a steering wheel and driver’s seat. It features superior security options, which equate to an airbag system in each seat and a machine learning-based prediction system. The robotaxi has a 133 kWh battery, allowing up to 16 hours of use at one price.

Zoox is predicted to launch software that will allow customers to access the robotaxi service, which offers options to control music and verify travel details. Founded in 2014, the company has tested and created autonomous cars for modern transportation companies.