Amazon.com Inc. is in talks to buy autonomous vehicle startup Zoox, according to a Bloomberg report yesterday. A 2018 funding round had Zoox valued at $3.2 billion.
As the nation’s largest retailer, Amazon is positioning itself to build its own logistics network.
Last year, Amazon invested in another self-driving startup, Aurora Innovation, which is also working with FCA on self-driving commercial vehicles. Amazon has funded Rivian Automotive Inc. with plans for a proprietary electric delivery vehicle.
Also last year, Amazon launched a pilot in Southern California for a delivery robot.
To date, Zoox’s corner of the market is “robo-taxis” for personal transportation. According to Zoox’s website, the company is “creating autonomous mobility from the ground up” rather than retrofitting third-party technology on vehicles.
Zoox was only one of four companies that the California Public Utilities Commission permitted (along with AutoX, Pony.ai, and Waymo) in its Vehicle Passenger Service pilot program.
Earlier in May, Zoox hired Qatalyst Partners to help it find a buyer.