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05/27/2020

Report: Amazon may purchase self-driving vehicle provider

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon is reportedly eyeing Silicon Valley startup Zoox for acquisition.

As originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon and Zoox are in advanced negotiations for a purchase that would be less than Zoox’s most recent $3.2 billion market valuation. Forbes additionally reports that there is no final agreement or timing for a deal, and some Zoox investors are opposed to the potential acquisition.

However, Amazon has already taken an active role in developing proprietary autonomous delivery vehicles, such as its Scout six-wheeled electric robot, a variety of delivery drones, and self-driving trucks.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said by purchasing Zoox, Amazon could force delivery rivals UPS and FedEx to increase their own spending on autonomous delivery technology while enhancing its own internal capacity. 

“Following on from Amazon’s commitment to buy 100,000 Rivian delivery vans between 2021-24, a potential Zoox transaction could make those custom vans autonomous as well,” said Jonas. “Together with Amazon's foray into autonomous line-haul trucking this could give Amazon autonomous middle-mile and last-mile capability.”

Based in Foster City, Calif., Zoox was founded in 2014 to produce purpose-built robotaxis and automated delivery vehicles for fleets. Amazon and Zoox both declined comment.