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Amazon acquires autonomous vehicle start-up

Amazon has announced it will acquire an autonomous vehicle start-up.

Zoox, founded in 2014, is focused on autonomous ride-hailing with zero emission vehicles.

The company will continue to operate as an independent business, with its CEO and CTO remaining in place.

Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of worldwide consumer, said: “Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience.

“Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead.”

Amazon did not specify why it was making the acquisition except to say it hoped to “help bring (Zoox’s) vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality”.

The company already has a number of initiatives in the self-driving space. Last year it invested in Aurora, a self-driving car start-up, saying that it believed the technology could have applications in both fulfilment and in distribution centres.

However, realistically the technology faces many regulatory hurdles before being used widely on streets.

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