Smart Transport

Amazon to acquire driverless vehicle start-up Zoox

Tech giant Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire driverless vehicle start-up Zoox for an undisclosed sum.

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Zoox is working on building autonomous ride-hailing services “from the ground up that put passengers front of mind”.

Aicha Evans, Zoox chief executive, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and chief technology officer, will continue to lead Zoox as a standalone business.

Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s chief executive, Worldwide Consumer, said: "Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience.

"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."

Evans said the acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry and that Amazon’s backing will give the company an even greater opportunity to realise a fully autonomous future.

Zoox started in 2014 with the vision of purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software platform.

Amazon's latest aquisition follows on from Google's Waymo division joining forces with Volvo to create its own ride-hailing service and points to the continued integration of Silicon Valley and the automotive industry.

Zoox's fully autonomous driving live trials in San Francisco

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