The American company Amazon has agreed to buy California startup Zoox, which is engaged in the development of self-governing vehicles, reports Reuters.
According to the Agency, the online retailer will pay for a technology company more than $1.2 billion, which will be the largest investment by Amazon in the sector of unmanned vehicles.
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At the same time, the cost of the transaction, the company did not disclose.
The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, is going together with Zoox to maintain a fleet of robotic taxis, competing thus with Waymo (owned by Google, the parent company Google), the source told FT.
It is expected that Amazon can also use the Zoox when creating drones to deliver goods. Amazon previously invested in a developer of unmanned vehicles Aurora Innovation (invested $530 million) in electric car Rivian (the amount of investment to be announced).
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Zoox will remain an independent business, its leaders will continue to work, reported the company. According to Reuters, most investors Zoox will return the money invested.
On the negotiations between Amazon and Zoox reported in may the WSJ. Created six years ago, a start-up in July of 2018 during the next round of investment was estimated at $3.2 billion, but at the time, Zoox planned to launch in 2020 a program of testing machines.
However, this year the company has suffered from the crisis caused by the pandemic coronavirus, in April was forced to lay off 100 employees, and in may began to look for a buyer. The market had doubts whether the startup to launch the production of robotic taxis without additional investment.
The sector of unmanned vehicles faced problems due to pandemic coronavirus. Rival Zoox and Waymo owned by General Motors, the Cruise company fired 150 people.
While only Waymo was able to launch in late 2018, the taxi service without the drivers in Arizona, but not yet expanded to other States. Waymo, the cost of which is estimated at more than $30 billion, in addition to passenger cars is developing self-driving trucks.