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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Amazon Wants a Big Piece of Self-Driving/Hailing

Been watching the extension of the smart home to the car by Amazon, interesting, but still weakly done.   Now are they really seeing 'self driving' as a means of selectively delivering the customer to the product, as opposed the the other way around?  A kind of ultimate 'smart-market'.  Will follow.

Amazon Shakes Up the Race for Self-Driving—and Ride-Hailing in Wired
The ecommerce giant is buying Zoox, which is designing autonomous robotaxis. Beware Uber and Lyft. 

UBER CEO DARA Khosrowshahi says his company wants to be the “Amazon for transportation.” Friday, Amazon made clear that it intends to be the Amazon for transportation.

The ecommerce giant said it had agreed to acquire Bay Area–based autonomous vehicle company Zoox, a deal reportedly worth more than $1 billion. (Amazon did not respond to WIRED's queries.) Since its founding in 2014, Zoox has been known for its technical chops, its secretiveness, and its sky-high ambition. While Alphabet's Waymo is focusing on self-driving tech and leaving the car building to places like Detroit, Zoox has stuck to its plan to design a robotaxi from the ground up—and operate a ride-hail service. In 2018, it showed off its first prototype vehicles, which look like sensor-laden golf carts on steroids. The company has also been testing its software on more conventional-looking Toyota Highlanders in San Francisco, where it is learning to handle chaotic city streets. ... " 

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