Amazon revealed this morning that it will be acquiring Zoox, a robotics company in the autonomous vehicle space. Although Amazon and Zoox have not disclosed financial details about the acquisition at this time, the Financial Times estimates the deal is worth more than $1.2 billion.
The acquisition of Zoox is Amazon’s largest play to date in the autonomous technology space. Amazon previously participated in a $530 million series B round with Aurora Innovation, a driverless truck and car company. The tech giant also purchased the robotics firm Kiva in 2012 and has invested heavily in Rivian, an electric vehicle company.
Analysts believe that the acquisition of Zoox will assist Amazon in cutting shipping costs by tens of billions of dollars annually, as its scale rivals that of UPS, FedEx, and DHL. The Information previously reported that the Seattle company could use Zoox’s tech for autonomous deliveries. The Financial Times has speculated that Amazon could create a ride-sharing fleet similar to Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet.
Of the deal, Amazon global consumer CEO Jeff Wilke said in a statement, “Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience. 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.”
Amazon noted that CEO Aicha Evans and CTO Jesse Levinson will continue leading the Zoox team. Like popular video streaming service Twitch, Zoox will operate as an independent subsidiary of Amazon following the acquisition.
Zoox was founded in 2014. The Foster City, California Company received authorization to operate driverless transport service within the state in 2018. More information about the deal can be found by visiting https://blog.aboutamazon.com/company-news/were-acquiring-zoox-to-help-bring-their-vision-of-autonomous-ride-hailing-to-reality.