Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is once again looking to diversify its footprint beyond e-commerce. The tech giant is expanding its empire into the auto industry by acquiring self-driving car startup Zoox. Reports indicate the e-commerce juggernaut is ready to pay over $1 billion to gain access to the California-based self-driving car startup.
Founded in 2014, Zoox has grown to become a force to reckon with in the self-driving space, having already tested its self-driving technology in Toyota SUVs around California. The startup is believed to have made impressive strides towards commercial launch. In addition, it has raised $955 million in funding from investors, affirming its reputation in the space.
The acquisition does not come as a surprise as Amazon has made huge strides in the recent past as part of an effort to strengthen its competitive edge in e-commerce. The company has already invested in truck maker Rivian and self-driving startup Aurora.
Investments in the auto industry board well with Amazon’s push, to enhance the delivery of goods to people households. The tech giant is reportedly looking to repurpose Zoox technology as it looks to complement and enhance its fleet of delivery vans.
Amazon Auto Plans
Amazon is increasingly investing in new technology as it looks to enhance its logistics infrastructure. The investment drive is driven by a change in consumers’ shopping patterns. Consumers are increasingly turning to the e-commerce platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The use of self-driving cars to deliver goods to people’s homes appears to be top on the agenda as part of the e-commerce giant’s next phase of growth. However, it won’t be the only company working on self-driving cars for delivering goods. Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER) has already made it clear that it wants to be the Amazon of transportation through self-driving cars.
Amid the audacious ambitions, Amazon and its peers face a long road to using self-driving cars to deliver goods. The technology is yet to reach levels for regulatory approval. The COVID-19 pandemic has also dealt a significant blow as automakers can no longer test on the roads.