NEW YORK — Amazon said Friday that it is buying self-driving technology company Zoox, which envisions a future where people will request a ride on their phones and a car will drive up without a driver.
But analysts are speculating that Amazon will use Zoox technology to build an autonomous package delivery service.
Seattle-based Amazon did not disclose how much it is paying for Zoox, which was founded in 2014 with the vision of purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack.
The deal is another sign of Amazon’s ambitions.
"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 realize that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future."
Since its inception 25 years ago as an online bookseller, the company has moved into cloud computing, health care and runs a chain of grocery stores.