Amazon has acquired Zoox, a startup that is designing autonomous ride hailing services. The acquisiton will also mark Amazon’s foray into yet another high tech area, wherein the company aims at providing a full stack solution to ride hailing problems. Zoox’s solution will be coupled with Amazon’s technological and financial prowess, thus helping the startup get closer to realising its dream.
The company, headed by Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, will operate as a standalone entity, as they “continue to lead the team as they innovate and drive towards their mission,” an announcement from Amazon read.
The company has raised about $1 billion to date, making it one of the biggest names in the field of autonomous driving tech. Financial Time reportsthat the deal is worth $1.2 billion, which just goes to show how valuable Zoox is due to its exceptional work in the field of autonomous vehicles.
“This acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry,” said Aicha Evans, CEO of Zoox. “We have made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility, and our exceptionally talented team working every day to realize that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future.”
Evans isn’t the only executive from Zoox retaining their post. Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, said, “Since Zoox’s inception six years ago, we have been singularly focused on our ground-up approach to autonomous mobility,’ adding that “Amazon’s support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world.”
In today’s market, there is no shortage of ride hailing services. In fact, the market is oversaturated, and at this point, growing organically, while competing with the likes of Uber and Lyft, seems like wishful thinking. That is why companies like Zoox have had to take the long route. Instead of just launching another Uber with a different packaging, Zoox is seeking to build a fit-for-purpose self-driving passenger vehicle from the ground up, along with the software and AI ended to provide its autonomous driving capabilities.
Now, the company stands an actual chance of competing against Waymo, it’s arch nemesis that counts Google’s Alphabet as its parent company, thanks to Amazon’s virtually unlimited capital.
“Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO, Worldwide Consumer. “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.”