Amazon.com Inc—one of those tech companies that you simply cannot keep up with—is making huge investments in autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. Amazon’s highly successful sales revenue model means that the company generates massive profit amounts every year. In 2020 alone, Amazon made $152.757 billion as annual gross profit.
With that kind of income, Amazon possesses the wherewithal to invest in tech and anything else so long as it has the capabilities to optimise processes, make more income and ultimately, change the world.
One of the most prominent in a long line of Amazon’s future investments is its investment in autonomous vehicles. Amazon is already making very strong commitments to autonomous vehicles by making strong partnerships with self-driving companies like Aurora and Zoox.
Amazon’s huge spending on autonomous vehicles — over $1 billion was spent in the acquisition of Zoox — is an eye-blinding indicator that Amazon will be a big player in the not-to-distant future of autonomous vehicles. These strategic autonomous vehicles deals will no doubt be music to the ears for those who invest in Amazon UK, US and other Amazon (or its companies’) shares.
Amazon’s latest stride
In usual Amazon groundbreaking style, Amazon has placed a buying order for 1,000 trucks from a self-driving truck tech startup called Plus.
Apart from Amazon’s interest in autonomous vehicles, one other likely reason for this purchase could be tied to the current shortage of employees in the United States. This could be a move to reduce the backlog in deliveries that were caused by the shortage of staff.
The terms of the deal also allow Amazon the option to buy up to 420 million preferred shares at roughly 47 cents per share.
What do we know about Plus?
Plus was founded in 2016 by a group of Stanford University students. Plus is a self-driving truck software company tech to enable large scale autonomous deliveries with trucks. Plus.ai is already in conjunction with truck manufacturers and delivery companies like SF Holding Co. Plus say its trucks can cover up to 1500 kilometres a day.
Plus.ai, headquartered in Silicon Valley, has tested its software in at least seventeen states in the United States including Indiana and Minnesota. All testings of Plus self-driving software (Automated Driving System) have been done with professionally trained drivers and specialists behind the wheel.
In December 2020, Amazon’s $1 billion acquired company Zoox unveiled its self-driving robotaxi. The Zoox robotaxi has an interesting set of features—bidirectional driving, four-wheel steering—some of which positively sets it apart from other self-driving cars made by competitors.
Although the Zoox self-driving car is not available for commercial use, Amazon is already planning to use the technology to facilitate light-scale distribution.
For Amazon Inc., it is clear that there’s a bright feature for autonomous vehicles and the smart thing to do is solidify their place as industry leaders while the industry is still in its early stages.
It looks like deliveries as we know them, are about to change.
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