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May 15, 2024

Amazon’s Zoox under investigation by NHTSA after two robotaxi crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. is investigating two crashes involving Zoox, Amazon's self-driving vehicle unit, in Las Vegas. According to the information, the crashes happened in late October and involved two self-driving test vehicles carrying passengers. There were no serious injuries reported, but the incident has triggered a federal investigation into the safety of robotaxis. This probe will determine if Zoox's autonomous technology complies with federal regulations and whether it could pose a risk to public safety. The NHTSA has not released any more details about the investigation; the assessment will take several weeks, possibly months. During this time, Zoox can continue its testing and operation. At the end of the examination, if the NHTSA finds a safety defect in Zoox's tech, it has the power to force a recall or impose fines. The company Zoox was acquired by Amazon in 2020 and develops autonomous vehicles from the ground up. This incident, regardless of the outcome, will likely reinforce public fears about the safety of autonomous vehicles. The questions raised concerning the safety protocols of such companies are becoming increasingly important as self-driving technology continues to develop.