Totally Autonomous Concept Car from Zoox Is Designed To Follow Commands

Jan 01, 2014 02:34 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma (j.ecarma@autoworldnews.com)

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Zoox Self-Driving Concept Car

Will Zoox's futuristic concept ever make it to production? (Photo : Zoox)

Startup Zoox has a self-driving concept that is designed to be fully autonomous and can operate in two directions.

The company revealed renderings of the car at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show and recently gave a few more details, DigitalTrends reported.

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Calling itself a "Level 4 mobility company," Zoox envisions a world where drivers give commands to their cars and never put a hand on the wheel.

As detailed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the levels refer to a vehicle's autonomous capabilities. A Level 0 is a completely manual car, so Zoox's vehicle is on the opposite end of that spectrum.

Zoox sees its buyers not as drivers but as "commanders" of their cars. The concept design calls every supposition about driving into question.

"Even the assumption that a vehicle requires reverse can be challenged," Zoox said.

The concept doesn't have controls and is built to operate bidirectionally. Its completely symmetrical design is purportedly more aerodynamic and allows the car to operate something like a modern railroad locomotive, according to DigitalTrends.

Inside, the cabin has seats that face inward so motorists can converse more easily; one drawback of the symmetrical design is that the car has no trunk.

"It's hard to say if the Zoox Boz will ever make it to showrooms, but it's certainly a bold experiment in autonomous vehicle design," DigitalTrends said. "That being said, if you want to spend your morning commute texting or talking with other people, why not just take the train?"

The Zoox concept is an interesting take on the self-driving vehicle, but any kind of production seems a long way off. The company itself has been called into question as people wonder if the site and its unusual concept are legitimate.

Zoox's headquarters aren't listed on the website's welcome page, but the company seems to be giving out location hints on its Twitter account.

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