Amazon has confirmed it acquiring self-driving technology company Zoox, reportedly for over $1.2 billion, according to The Information and The Financial Times. The acquisition would be Amazon’s biggest step into self-driving so far, compared to smaller startup investments and internal work it has done to date. It’s also one of Amazon’s largest overall investments yet, after Whole Foods ($13.7 billion) and shoe retailer Zappos ($1.2 billion).
A source told The Financial Times that Amazon plans to create a ride-hailing fleet to rival Uber, Waymo and others. However, it could also be interested in developing autonomous tech to bolster its delivery network. If it succeeds, it could have self-driving trucks running 24/7, improving its same-day delivery services but eliminating human jobs in the process.