Prime Mover Magazine

Amazon eyes autonomous mobility prize

Multinational technology company, Amazon, is expanding its portfolio with the acquisition of a US-based autonomous vehicle company.

California-based business, Zoox, has agreed to be acquired by Amazon, with Zoox CEO, Aicha Evans, and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Jesse Levinson, retaining their leadership roles.

Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO – Worldwide Consumer – said Zoox is designing a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience and like Amazon is passionate about innovation and its customers.

"We're excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead," he said.

Evans said the acquisition solidifies Zoox's impact on the autonomous driving industry.

"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," she said. "We now have an even greater opportunity to realise a fully autonomous future."

Since Zoox's inception six years ago, according to Levinson, the company has been focused on a ground-up approach to autonomous mobility.

"Amazon's support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world," he said.

In 2014, Zoox worked on purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing and an end-to-end autonomy software stack.

Completion of the acquisition is subject to closing conditions.

This week, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) released a heavy vehicle technology blueprint that encourages the uptake of emerging and available technologies including autonomous emergency braking systems.

In January, Amazon launched a last mile rideshare concept for part-time delivery drivers in Sydney and Melbourne.

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