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Amazon might buy self-driving startup Zoox, report says

The purchase would continue Amazon's work to create its own delivery network and cut out driver pay to save cash.

Zoox self-driving car prototype
Amazon sees value in self-driving cars.

Amazon has made a few notable investments in recent years seemingly outside of its realm as a massive online retailer and technology company. When it comes to the auto industry, investment in the EV startup Rivian is the most notable example, and we learned the two had hatched plans for a purpose-built delivery van.

Now, it looks like Amazon has its eyes on self-driving technology. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the online retailer is in talks to purchase self-driving technology startup Zoox for somewhere in the ballpark of $3.2 billion. The purchase would further solidify a strategy to potentially bring delivery services totally in-house. In the process, financial analysts suspect it could keep FedEx, UPS and other tech companies working on autonomous vehicle technology on their toes.

Essentially, Amazon could sell goods and deliver them with a self-driving vehicle. Shipping costs would plummet, and Amazon could skip hiring human drivers to save additional cash. Of course, there are no self-driving vehicles on sale today, and there won't be tomorrow, either. It could be a massive bet on technology that hasn't come to fruition nearly as quickly as many once expected. Zoox originally planned for a totally driverless car by this year. Other rivals also looked at 2020 as a turning point for deploying autonomous ride-hailing services, though Alphabet's Waymo is the only company to have come close to a widespread, public option.

Zoox declined to comment on the potential purchase. Amazon did not immediately return Roadshow's request for comment.

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