ZOOX INTENDS TO SET THE BAR FOR SAFETY IN AUTONOMOUS MOBILITY.
We know that autonomous vehicle technology presents an unprecedented opportunity to save lives, reduce injuries, and minimize crashes on our roadways. But fully realizing these potential benefits necessitates a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive safety. For over 100 years, automotive safety has been reactive: i.e., we wait until there is a crash, injury, or death before we look for a solution.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 94% of crashes are caused by human choice or error. Most of these crashes are preventable or avoidable, yet in 2020 alone, 38,680 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways.Globally, car crashes take the lives of 1.35 million people each year—that is more than 3,000 deaths a day. We should not accept these casualties as the cost of mobility. As a society, we can do better.
At Zoox, safety is foundational, and our safety philosophy is made up of two distinct pillars: “Prevent and Protect.” The ultimate proactive safety strategy is to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place, so we analyze potential safety risks and address them before they happen. Our vehicles also protect riders and other road users with an array of safety innovations—for example, we intend to provide the equivalent of a five-star safety rating for every occupant in a Zoox vehicle.
The safety innovations featured in this report reflect our commitment to setting the bar for safety in autonomous mobility.
Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D. - Chief Safety Innovation Officer Former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Former Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Download the Safety Report Volume 2.0 to explore just some of the over 100 safety innovations in the Zoox vehicle.
Dr. Mark Rosekind, Zoox's Chief Safety Innovation Officer, delivers an overview of three categories of safety innovations within our 2021 Safety Report: greater driving control, no single point of failure, and rider protection. Here we highlight just a few of the more than 100 safety innovations built into the Zoox vehicle.
MORE THAN 100 SAFETY INNOVATIONS
Safety first. For you and everyone else.
Every part of Zoox is designed to keep you safe—whether you’re riding with us or not. In fact, our purpose-built autonomous vehicle includes more than 100 safety innovations that do not exist in today’s conventional cars. Here are 9 notable ones highlighted in our 2021 safety report:
Shorter stopping distances means safer braking - Each wheel on our vehicle has an independent braking and active suspension system that can help avoid potential crashes through better tire traction and more controlled weight distribution.
Four-wheel steering and control are all about precision - One of the most unique attributes of our vehicle is its ability to control all four wheels individually—including speed, power, and direction. This allows the vehicle to stay within a few centimeters of its desired trajectory.
Bidirectional: no back or front - With the ability to steer and drive with all four wheels, the Zoox vehicle can navigate in either direction as needed, eliminating the need for extra maneuvers, like a three-point turn.
No single point of failure
Our vehicle is engineered with the design objective to eliminate single points of failure in safety-critical systems. This approach to our vehicle architecture draws inspiration from aviation levels of safety, and Zoox is the first to apply them to automotive design.
Redundant steering and driving controls - Even if confronted with a major system failure, our vehicle can keep going with safe limited abilities, while navigating to an appropriate and safe place to stop.
Fail-operational power supply keeps our vehicles moving - In the very unlikely event that our battery systems were to experience a failure, or either power converter were to malfunction, there is an additional layer of redundancy to ensure the vehicle can pull over into a safe location and still turn on hazard lights and open doors.
Vehicle self-diagnostics: comprehensive safety monitoring - The Zoox monitoring system goes far beyond a typical car’s check engine light and can precisely detect fault-states across the vehicle’s hardware, software, and firmware.
Equivalent safety for each rider - In a Zoox vehicle, no seat is more likely than any other to be occupied by a passenger. We believe all riders deserve the same amount of protection, regardless of seating position.
Reimagining the airbag for a new kind of vehicle - The unique Zoox airbag system consists of several distinct airbag types: horseshoe curtain airbags, frontal airbags, rear airbags, side head airbags, and seat side airbags.
Seat belts: a new take on a classic life-saving tool - Seat belts save lives. Which is why no Zoox vehicle will begin operation until all passengers have properly and securely fastened their seat belts. Our three-input safety system leverages sensors, switches, and cameras to ensure proper seat belt usage.