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Teased Next-Gen Waymo Autonomous Robotaxi Has No Steering

Waymo has teased the next generation autonomous robotaxi that it built in partnership with automaker Zeekr and the vehicle is notably missing a steering wheel and side mirrors.

After expanding their airport pickup service into several US cities, the Alphabet-owned startup is gearing up for the next step in its plan. The new design is touted as being passenger-first, leaving driver features out.

Its partners, Zeekr, is owned by Geely which also makes Volvo, Lotus, Polestar, and Aston Martin. The Chinese car maker joins a growing list of companies that have worked with the autonomous startup.

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Waymo claimed that the vehicles will be 30 per cent more efficient than any other autonomous EV currently available. The car is quite small, measuring 15.4 feet (4.7 m) in length and 9.18 feet (1.8 m) in width. Its wheelbase length is 9.8 feet and its turning circle is under 32 feet (10 m).

Additionally, the vehicle is designed to sit five passengers, with seats facing forward. There are also several phone charging ports inside the vehicle with reclining and tilting support for the front seats.

While the absent steering wheel and side mirrors may be cause for concern with authorities, Waymo’s spokesperson assured that it is in discussions to assure them of the vehicle’s safety. Pending when it receives license to operate on most roads, it may be a long time before we see this next-gen vehicles.

Without the steering wheel, pedals, and so on, the vehicle features a dashboard with a large tablet where passengers can enter their destinations, play media, see outside of the vehicle, learn about their navigation route, and so on. Passengers seated at the back can also use the tablets at the back of the front seats to do the same thing.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.