Zoox is offering autonomous rides in SF this week

Zoox, the self-driving car startup worth a reported $3.2 billion post-money valuation, is offering autonomous rides this week as part of the Global Climate Action Summit. The Global Climate Action Summit convenes state and local leaders, scientists, non-profits and others to discuss climate action opportunities.

In partnership with the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco, Zoox will transport select summit guests between the Fairmont and Moscone Center in its self-driving Toyota Highlander test cars. Zoox says it’s working with the Fairmont and the Summit to determine guests.

“Zoox was born to improve safety, congestion, and pollution in our increasingly dense cities,” says Zoox co-founder, President and CTO Jesse Levinson said in a press release. “We are proud to demonstrate our state-of-the-art autonomous technology, partner with the Fairmont, and show private enterprise support of Governor Brown’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s Global Climate Action Summit right here in our hometown.”

The goal of these tests is to show guests the potential of Zoox’s zero-emission autonomous technology, though, this is not the full realization of it. This advancement comes on the heels of Zoox co-founder Tim Kentley-Klay’s ouster from the company in late August. His firing came about a month after Zoox closed a $500 million funding round led by Mike Cannon-Brookes of Grok Ventures, which brought its total amount of funding to $800 million.

Zoox ultimately aims to commercially deploy autonomous vehicles by 2020 in the form of its own ride-hailing service. The cars themselves will be all-electric and fully autonomous. Meanwhile, ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft are also working on autonomous vehicles, as well as a number of other large players in the space.