Will We Be Saying Sayonara to Amazon’s Delivery Drivers?
Time will tell whether Amazon puts newly acquired Zoox’s technology to use for its delivery vans, but most industry experts say it’s a good bet as last-mile delivery continues to be a main focus and competitive advantage. The e-commerce giant last week announced the acquisition of Zoox, a self-driving car startup, for $1.2 billion to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles from the ground up, according to Car and Driver.
“Zoox is working to imagine, invent and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of worldwide consumer, in a company blog. “Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead.”
Based in Foster City, Calif., Zoox was founded in 2014 with the vision of purpose-built, zero-emission vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack. Zoox said its ground-up vehicle focuses on the ride-hailing customer, with tightly integrated features designed to provide a revolutionary passenger experience.
“This acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry,” Zoox CEO Aicha Evans said. “We made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility. We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future.”