Amazon has signed a deal worth US $1.2 billion to acquire the autonomous driving startup, Zoox; a company looking to build autonomous driving vehicles from scratch.
Details of the agreement reveal that Zoox will remain a standalone entity, maintaining the leadership of CEO Aicha Evans and CTO Jesse Levinson. Zoox will continue working towards its mission, riding on amazon’s muscle to achieve its objectives in building autonomous robotaxis.
“We have made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility, and our exceptionally talented team working every day to realize that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future,” said Zoox CEO, Aicha Evans.
The partnership is meant to strengthen Zoox’s financial muscle to help it gain momentum in building autonomous passenger vehicles from scratch, leveraging its software and AI.
“Since Zoox’s inception six years ago, we have been singularly focused on our ground-up approach to autonomous mobility. Amazon’s support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder, and CTO
On the other hand, Amazon has a growing interest in autonomous vehicles, evident in its investment in Aurora and self-driving truck company, Embark. Forbes speculates that the Zoox acquisition could change how the e-Commerce giant delivers packages in the future, through possible robot delivery powered by Zoox’s technology.
Following the partnership deal and if Zoox succeeds in its pursuits in robotaxis, it could explore the opportunity to venture into the transport vertical, going head-on with taxi companies like Uber, who are also looking into autonomous cars. In 2018, Amazon conducted tests for robot deliveries via their six-wheeled robot.
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