Amazon, whose reshaping of the e-commerce landscape has come largely through its embrace of disruptive technologies like warehouse robots, machine learning and cloud services, has done it again. Not content with having its own fleet of delivery trucks and even cargo planes, the online giant has signed a deal to acquire autonomous taxis.
The online retail giant has signed an agreement to acquire Zoox, a company that’s been designing autonomous ride-hailing vehicles. Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, will continue to lead the Zoox as a standalone business unit.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but according to the transaction is valued at roughly $1.2 billion, according to Forbes.
According to Levinson, having Amazon’s support will help Zoox accelerate its path to delivering on their technology initiatives. On Amazon’s side, the acquisition positions the company well in its continuing quest to cover every aspect of last-mile delivery.
Zoox launched in 2014 with the vision of purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack. Its so-called “ground-up vehicle” focuses on the ride-hailing customer, with tightly integrated features designed to enhanced the passenger experience.