Amazon acquires autonomous ride-hailing vehicle firm Zoox

Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire Zoox, a California-based company working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles.

Zoox chief executive Aicha Evans and chief technology officer Jesse Levinson will continue to lead the company as a standalone business.

"Since Zoox's inception six years ago, we have been singularly focused on our ground-up approach to autonomous mobility," said co-founder Levinson. "Amazon's support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world."

Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s worldwide consumer chief executive, commented: "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."

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 stack.

Completion of this transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The cost of the deal was not disclosed, but reporting from The Information suggests that the transaction is worth more than $1 billion.

Amazon has recently increased its investment in the car sector, participating in a $530 million funding round early last year for self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation.

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