Amazon buys self-driving startup Zoox

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Amazon announced Friday it has acquired self-driving startup Zoox.

No details on the amount paid was mentioned but the Financial Times reported earlier that the deal was worth in excess of $1.2 billion.

Silicon Valley-based Zoox was founded in 2014. However, unlike many rival self-driving car startups working purely on the driving system, Zoox intends to develop both the driving system and purpose-built vehicles to be used as taxis or delivery vans.

Zoox has been testing its technology primarily in Las Vegas and San Francisco. The company has demonstrated its prototypes handling difficult traffic situations such as lane changes in busy traffic and crossing four-way intersections, as well as poor weather.

Zoox has operated largely under the radar, though it made headlines earlier in 2020 when it settled a lawsuit filed against it a year ago by Tesla over allegedly stolen data.

In a statement, Amazon said acquiring Zoox will help the startup realize its “vision of autonomous ride-hailing.”

And as self-driving technology matures, it’s possible Amazon could integrate the technology into its delivery vans.

It’s not the first time Amazon has invested in a self-driving startup. The company as recently as 2019 invested in rival self-driving startup Aurora Innovation.

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Saurabh Shukla

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