Intel veteran takes wheel of self-driving car start-up Zoox

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Intel veteran Aicha Evans will lead self-driving car start-up Zoox from next month, becoming a rare high-profile black chief executive in a Silicon Valley.

The Senegal native will become head of Zoox, and a member of the start-up’s board starting on February 26.

“I’m thrilled to join Zoox and challenge the status quo with an autonomous mobility system built from the ground up,” Evans said in a statement.

“Mobility is approaching a major inflection point, and Zoox has set itself apart from entrenched players.”

Technology titans including Alphabet and Uber along with major automakers have been racing to get self-driving vehicles, or platforms helping power them, to market.

Based in Foster City near San Francisco, Zoox was founded in 2014 with a mission to build a “fleet of fully autonomous, battery electric, zero-emission vehicles that are purpose-built and optimised for ridesharing in cities”.