Self-driving startup Zoox has laid off its human safety drivers, at least for a while. With its test vehicles in California and Nevada idled by the coronavirus health crisis, the company sent an email Friday to contract workers, notifying them they would not be paid beyond Tuesday if they could not remotely work.
“The decision was not made lightly and is an unfortunate reflection of the difficult situation faced by many organizations in an uncertain economic climate,” a Zoox spokesperson said.
The company did not say how many drivers are affected. Tech site The Verge, which first reported the developments, says approximately 120 contract workers are impacted.
Zoox has 58 autonomous vehicles registered to test on California roads, according to the state’s DMV records. That’s the fourth most of any company testing in California, behind Waymo, Cruise and Apple. The company expects its self-driving fleet will be grounded at least through May 3, by virtue of California’s…