The Zeekr CM1e, a minivan-like EV, could be Waymo's next autonomous taxi.
The prototype has no B-pillar and dual sliding doors that open from the middle.
Along with an 87-mph top speed, Zeeker claims the CM1e's single rear motor will propel it from zero to 62 mph in 8 seconds.
Zeekr is a yet another EV brand under China's Geely, whose portfolio also includes Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, and Lynk & Co. Although Zeekr has recently expanded to Europe with its 001 mid-size hatchback, 009 minivan, and X entry-level EV, Americans are most likely to encounter a Zeekr by hailing a ride in this, the CM1e. Prototypes of this concept proposal are being submitted to Waymo as its next autonomous taxi.
See the CM1e
Designed in Sweden, the CM1e is expressly intended for this purpose. It features center-opening dual sliding doors on both sides, and there's no B-pillar. The step-in height is low despite the 92-kW battery pack housed underneath, and the floor is covered with a rubberized material. The two front seats feature fold-down armrests, behind them is a three-passenger rear seat. The seats and dash are upholstered in a wool-like recycled material, Econyl, which is made from ocean waste (chiefly fishing nets). Two pods on the dash each house an airbag, and between them sits a Waymo-supplied display screen.
A rear liftgate provides access to the luggage compartment, below which a single rear motor is located.
Zeekr claiming a 0-to-62-mph time of approximately 8 seconds and a top speed of 87 mph. The CM1e concept does not have a steering wheel, but until that setup is permitted by local regulations, a production version would be equipped with one; steering and braking are by-wire. All the self-driving hardware is by Waymo.
Should Waymo accept this proposal, it would own and operate the vehicles, and Zeekr would build them. Zeekr says it plans to submit its CM1e prototypes to Waymo by the end of the year, but there's no stated timeframe for when we might see them in service.
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