9 July 2020
The Latest Taxi Firm To Hit The Roads: Amazon
On Friday June 26th, Amazon made the surprise announcement that they had agreed to acquire Zoox, a privately held company working on autonomous vehicle technology for ride-hailing firms. Through this deal, Amazon has now become the latest player in the race to devise self-driving vehicles, with Lyft, Uber Technologies and Google each already working hard to get self-driving vehicles on the roads.
“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.”
“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 realise that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realise a fully autonomous future.”
Zoox was initially started in 2014, envisioning the creation of autonomous, zero-emission vehicles. The company has focused their aim at ride-hailing vehicles, and have expressed hope that with the power of Amazon behind them “will accelerate (their) path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world.”
It remains to be seen what Amazon will do with Zook’s technology. Whilst some speculate they may be planning to launch their own urban RoboTaxi surface, others speculate they plan to use the technology for deliveries.
“Quintessental London vehicles: The taxi cabs and double decker buses” by SmrtBusesLuver, used under CC BY / Modified from original