Amazon's Zoox is testing self-driving cars in Seattle so they can learn to cope with lots of rain

According to Bloomberg, Amazon-owned Zoox will begin testing driverless cars in Seattle.
Chief technology officer at Zoox stated that one of the reasons Zoox lost so many customers was Seattle's notoriously terrible weather.

According to Zoox's cofounder, it wants to "see how water affects the sensors" of the cars.

10 Things in Tech: Keep up-to-date with the latest tech trends and innovations. Loading... Click to sign up for Insider marketing emails. You also agree to receive partner offers.

Amazon-owned robotaxi startup Zoox will begin testing self-driving cars in Seattle.

Jesse Levinson, Zoox's Chief Technology Officer and cofounder, told Bloomberg that there were two reasons Zoox chose Seattle to be its new testing ground. He explained that the first reason Zoox chose Seattle to test its new testing ground was to attract local engineers.

The second was Seattle's notoriously severe weather.

Levinson stated that Seattle's weather is also important. He suggested that the Zoox vehicle be subject to inclement weather testing to see how water affects the sensors.

Some self-driving systems were disrupted by snow and rain in the past.

Zoox will not deploy its robotaxis which have yet to appear in the wild, but instead will send specially equipped Toyota Highlanders to Seattle. The company's sensors will be installed on the cars, along with self-driving software.

Kai Wang, Zoox's director for prediction, stated to The Verge that a smooth sea does not make a skilled sailor.

He said, "The challenges in the Seattle area will allow us to hone our Software stack and ultimately improve our vehicles' behavior."

Seattle is also home to Zoox's parent company Amazon. Amazon bought Zoox in June 2020, for $1.2 billion.

Bloomberg was informed by Levinson that Zoox is "very independent" of Amazon but that they "really look forward to spending some time with people up there."

Bloomberg reports that Zoox would also open a Seattle office.

Zoox has already road-tested their technology on roads in California, Las Vegas and Nevada. It released footage last week of a driverless car navigating six lanes in downtown Las Vegas.