Zoox has received a permit from California state authorities to test its self-driving vehicles without an in-car backup driver, in a victory for Amazon, which acquired the startup in June.
The new permit, which was announced on Friday, allows Zoox to test two autonomous vehicles without a driver behind the wheel on specified streets near its Foster City headquarters, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles said in a statement. The tests are allowed only under fair-weather conditions and on streets with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour (72 kph).
While some 60 companies have permission to conduct autonomous testing with a safety driver in California, Zoox joins Alphabet's unit Waymo, Nuro and Chinese startup AutoX Technologies in a small club of truly driverless testers in the state.
Amazon has been aggressively expanding into self-driving technology, with the company also participating in self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation Inc.'s $530 million funding round early last year.