Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has acquired self-driving car start-up Zoox for over US$1.2bn in a major foray into the autonomous vehicle sector.
The e-commerce giant is planning to work with the company to develop a ride-hailing fleet that can potentially be expanded out into a robotaxi service, according to reports.
Amazon’s purchase of Zoox also follows previous investments in another self-driving car firm Aurora as well as electric truck group Rivian.
Autonomous driving also has the potential to boost Amazon’s business as it looks to find new, innovative technologies to deliver goods to customers, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in demand for online delivery.
The acquisition will also help support Zoox during the pandemic, which has hit a number of driverless technology companies and resulted in layoffs.