Amazon's Vision for Autonomous Delivery

Amazon Reportedly Buys Self-Driving Startup Zoox For Over $1.2 Billion

Amazon said on Friday it was buying the self-driving vehicle tech startup Zoox, in an effort to rev up the drive for autonomous ride-hailing and compete against rivals like former Google auto unit Waymo.

Google has always been developing self driving technology with its Waymo brand, Uber has been testing autonomous technology for years, while Apple spent billions on its auto project before canning it.

The Jeff Bezos-led company, according to a report in The Information and The Financial Times, has agreed to buy Zoox, an early-stage developer of self-driving cars, in a deal estimated to be worth more than $1.2 billion.

The self-driving space is crawling with competitors as Alphabet, Uber, Tesla, GM, Ford, and many others have shelled out the big bucks to make autonomous inroads.

Despite its challenges, Zoox was one among a few independent companies working on credible autonomous vehicle technology, said Ramsey, the Gartner analyst.

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Zoox was recently valued at $US3.2 billion. The plan is for Zoox to continue development of its robot taxi, an electric vehicle that it has been working on, with Amazon investing money in Zoox so it can deploy these vehicles.

After months of rumors, Amazon on Friday announced its purchase of Zoox, a San Francisco-based autonomous driving start-up.

"This acquisition solidifies Zoox's impact on the autonomous driving industry", Evans said. At Business Insider's 2019 IGNITION conference, Zoox cofounder and Chief Technology Officer Jesse Levinson said there was no chance of that happening. Evans gave a statement on the new deal, saying, "We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future".

For now, the e-commerce giant plans to pay off most of Zoox's previous investors in full and let the start-up operate as its independent subsidiary, like Twitch. Interestingly, Amazon has already placed an order with Rivian for 100,000 autonomous delivery vans, and while we were to see the fruits of that investment by 2021, it's not certain how the pandemic has affected this timeline.

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