A Zoox self-driving test vehicle. Photo: Zoox

Amazon announced a deal to purchase self-driving vehicle technology provider Zoox for upwards of $1 billion.

Why it matters: While Apple, Google and others have invested in self-driving technology, Amazon is the one whose core business could benefit the most, given how much the company spends to deliver goods to consumers.

Zoox CEO Aicha Evans told Axios earlier this year the company was in talks with strategic partners and corporate investors about raising more money. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Zoox and Amazon were in advanced talks.

Between the lines: Zoox has been by far the most ambitious self-driving tech company as it's been working on developing a fully integrated vehicle, not just the core autonomous technology.

  • Zoox planned from the beginning to develop the technology, build a car and operate a robotaxi service. Not even Waymo is trying to bite off that much (although Cruise is).
  • Developing a car costs billions of dollars, so Amazon will have to invest a lot more if it intends for Zoox to stay on that path.
  • It's unclear what exactly Amazon wants to do with Zoox's technology — use parts of its technology to apply to warehouse robots, delivery vehicles and other needs, or keep its whole project going.
  • Zoox has already raised about $1 billion in funding — and once was valued at $3.2 billion

Amazon's possible purchase of Zoox was first reported by The Information.

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Jun 26, 2020 - Technology

Amazon jumps into self-driving taxis with purchase of Zoox

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Amazon is buying Zoox, a self-driving car startup, its biggest move yet into autonomous technology. Amazon is paying around $1.2 billion, according to a source familiar with the price.

Why it matters: While previous investments in electric truck manufacturer Rivian and self-driving tech company Aurora Innovation seemed focused on facilitating package delivery, Amazon made clear today it will help bring Zoox's ambitious robot-taxi plan to fruition.

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