Elon Musk’s criticism took a toll as he tried to discredit Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over the acquisition of Zoox, a self-driving company for $1.2 billion as reported by the Financial Times. Earlier in 2014, the renowned tech giant Amazon had tried to bring forth a massive investment with an autonomous tech developer called Aurora to launch self-driving cars to transit Amazon employees and partners from one place to the other.
However, with the recent partnership with Zoox, Amazon’s installation of another self-driving robot taxi seemed to address Jeff as a ‘copycat‘ by Tesla co-founder Musk.
On the question of this autonomous driving cars, there still exists uncertainty regarding the purpose of such self-driving cars. While some of the sources assume that it might be used for basic transportation for the public purposes, Business Insider’s Mark Matousek reported that it was meant specifically for the delivery purposes of goods and parcels to accelerate its eCommerce business.
Guidehouse Insights’ chief analyst, Sam Abuelsamid has confirmed that the principle motto of such an autonomous vehicle by Amazon was to conduct easy disposal of products, substituting the earlier delivery vans.
My guess would be in the near term that Amazon is probably more interested in taking that platform and adapting it as an alternative or complement to its existing fleet of delivery vans.
Earlier, various other companies had tried to accomplish such a marketing strategy with Zoox. However, the recent partnership enables Amazon to compete with companies like Tesla Inc., Waymo, General Motors Co. as well as Fed Ex Corp. which had been honing in autonomous vehicle industries over a decade. Zoox confirmed a bi-directional vehicle system that will be working in both directions and might be speeding up the delivery for the urban consumers.
Such a strategic investment with Zoox might install improvement in the field of the eCommerce section for a massive company like Amazon. These robot taxis have already entered for testing in San Francisco. However, despite the delay amid the pandemic, Zoox will resume with the testing once the lockdown loosens.