From The Verge: Amazon is acquiring self-driving car startup Zoox in a deal estimated to be worth over $1 billion. The deal will give Amazon control of the nearly 1,000-person startup that has been developing an electric self-driving vehicle. Rumors of the acquisition first emerged last month, when it was reported that Amazon would acquire Zoox for less than the $3.2 billion it was valued at back in July 2018.
The Information and The Financial Times initially reported the acquisition, which was later officially confirmed by Amazon.
“Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” said Amazon CEO of Global Consumer Jeff Wilke, “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.”
Although Amazon did not confirm the amount it’s paying for Zoox, reports suggest this is the company’s biggest investment yet in self-driving car technology, and one of its biggest purchases ever. Prior to the announcement The Information speculated that Amazon could use the technology for autonomous deliveries, similar to its existing robot and drone delivery projects, while the Financial Times said that Amazon will use the acquisition to produce an autonomous ride-hailing fleet to compete with the likes of Alphabet’s Waymo.
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