Amazon-Owned Autonomous Vehicles Don’t Like Motorcycles

Zoox self-driving vehicles are owned by Amazon and are currently under investigation following two separate crashes with motorcycles

Zoox toyota highlander

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into a manufacturer of autonomous vehicles owned by Amazon following two crashes with motorcyclists.

The vehicles involved were Toyota Highlander test vehicles which can weigh up to two tonnes. Both crashes occurred separately, and Reuters reports that they resulted in minor injuries to the motorcyclists involved. Zoox vehicles typically have no driving seat and no controls that people within the vehicle can access. The Toyota Highlander vehicles involved in the two incidents are part of the Zoox test-bed fleet and are used to analyse the self-driving technology in a more controlled environment. The images of the Toyota test vehicles on the Zoox website show driver-accessible controls, although there is no confirmation from Zoox as to whether or not a driver was at the wheel.

A Zoox Toyota Highlander like the one described in the article

The crashes come just a couple of months after Zoox announced an expansion of its testing program in California and Nevada, these tests included increasing the testing range, testing at higher speeds and at night. It’s also reported that the NHTSA has confirmed that both crashes occurred during the daytime and within the ‘operational design limits of the Zoox system’. It goes on to confirm that Automated Driving Systems (ADS) were engaged at the time of the crashes.

The news of the incidents comes just a month after we reported on research that showed that in-car cameras and crash detection systems still don’t effectively recognise motorcyclists when out on the road. 

The NHTSA investigation will now look into the performance of the Zoox ADS, paying particular regard to its behaviour in the vicinity of crossings, around vulnerable road users, and in ‘other similar rear-end collision scenarios’, according to Reuters.

Find all the latest motorcycle news on Visordown.