Amazon Acquires Self-Driving Startup Zoox Led By Black Female CEO

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“We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future,” says Aicha Evans.

According to Black Enterprise, Amazon recently purchased Zoox, a developer of autonomous vehicles, for $1.2 billion.

Forbes reported that Amazon “has invested in several self-driving start-up companies, including Aurora Innovation and Rivian Automotive. However, the acquisition of Zoox on June 26 is its first acquisition in the space,” the report said.

“Zoox has been developing purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack,” Black Enterprise wrote. Zoox CEO Aicha Evans is an African American woman who has been at the company for almost two years, and will stay on in her current position, according to the report.

“This acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry,” Evans said. “We have made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility, and our exceptionally talented team working every day to realize that vision.”

Amazon purchased Zoox “with last-mile delivery in mind. This could be a significant cost-cutting venture for Amazon, which ships more than 2.5 billion packages per year,” Black Enterprise reported. “If the tech giant can cut labor costs by automating ground delivery, it could save them millions, while at the same time putting them in better shape than Federal Express and the United States Parcel Service.”

“We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future,” Chief Safety Innovation Officer Mark Rosekind said. “We’re going to start seeing three to five years where people start actually deploying in cities, but it’s going to be 20 to 30 years before you start seeing this all over the place.”

Read the full report here.

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