NHTSA Opens Probe Into Amazon's 500 Zoox Vehicles Over Sudden Braking Concerns

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A U.S. auto safety regulator has commenced an investigation into Amazon.com‘s AMZN automated Zoox vehicles, owing to concerns about its sudden braking leading to collisions.

What Happened: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that it was aware of two incidents involving Zoox vehicles. In both cases, the vehicles, equipped with Zoox’s Automated Driving System (ADS), are said to have braked abruptly and without warning, leading to rear-end collisions. Both incidents, which occurred during daylight hours, involved a Toyota Highlander and resulted in minor injuries to the motorcyclists who collided with the Zoox vehicles.

The regulator has verified that the Zoox vehicles were in autonomous mode during the incidents. The preliminary evaluation of about 500 Zoox vehicles will scrutinize the performance of the Zoox ADS, especially in relation to the reported collisions. It will also assess the system’s behavior in crosswalks around vulnerable road users and in other similar rear-end collision scenarios, the regulator said.

Why It Matters: Amazon acquired Zoox for $1.3 billion in 2020. In March, Zoox announced advancements to its robotaxi testing in Las Vegas and California, including increasing the cap on top speed to 45 mph from 35 mph, while also expanding the area in Las Vegas where these robotaxis can travel to about 5 miles from its Las Vegas headquarters to the south end of the Strip along multiple routes.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: SpaceX Starship Likely To Fly For 4th Time Next Month As Elon Musk Reaffirms New Goals

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