Amazon owns a self-driving car company, is experimenting with delivery robots that walk across the pavement, and is considering acquiring a large stake in a robotic trucking startup.
And theI advanced The e-commerce giant recently placed an order for 1,000 autonomous driving systems from Plus.ai, a California-based company working on driverless trucking technology.
Amazon is also considering buying a 20 percent stake in Plus.ai. A move that could have major implications for how the company moves its products around the world.
Plus.ai recently announced its plans to go public via a reverse merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC.
The company plans to merge with Hennessy Capital V, the SPAC firm that has also sponsored the public appearance of start-up Canoo.
In addition, it is expected to receive approximately $500 million from the deal. The deal values Plus.ai at $3.3 billion.
Read also: Apple continues to develop a self-driving electric car
Amazon is betting on self-driving vehicles:
Amazon, one of the world’s largest companies, has focused its attention on robotic delivery trucks for years.
The company moved some goods using large, self-driving platforms designed by Embark in 2019.
And while autonomous vehicles have largely failed to live up to early ambitions, Many experts remain optimistic about the imminent emergence of self-driving transport trucks.
The Plus.ai deal, if completed, is the latest example of Amazon increasing its bets on self-driving vehicle technology.
In addition to Embark and Plus.ai, Amazon has helped with a $500 million investment round in Aurora, a self-driving startup run by the former head of Google’s self-driving car division.
It also invested in Rivian, an electric car company that is developing battery-powered delivery trucks.
Last year, Amazon acquired Zoox, a startup that is developing its own self-driving car for the purpose of commercial ride-sharing services.