Recent reports from The Information and The Financial Times indicate what experts stipulated since 2010: Amazon is going to strive for automatization and integrated A.I. assistance in the future. And it’s all in the name of cutting costs and providing the best services possible. As the two news outlets indicated, Amazon’s new acquisition may very well put the giant in a position to rival other titans like Uber, Waymo, or Lyft.
With the 1.2 billion dollar buyout of the start-up Zoox, a company that specializes in self-driving technology, Amazon now has access to even more resources for the all-automated workforce final goal. With this new tech, the sales giant may plan to move forward into the ride-hailing or further accelerate efforts to reinforce its delivery network. With the aid of self-driving trucks, for example, Amazon can deliver packages 24/7, not needing to worry about drivers resting or work-hours. Sure, the loss of the human element, and a potential mass-unemployment of truck-drivers, is going to hit the logistic sector extremely hard. On the other hand, this is the price we pay for same-day deliveries and the commodity of fast service.
Zoox will continue to develop its technology, operating independently of Amazon, with the sales giant reportedly having to commit to continuing investment in the self-driving start-up in the future. With nearly 1,000 employees, Zoox is currently developing a self-driving ‘bi-directional’ vehicle with no steering wheel. The self-driving-vehicle can be turned in either direction and can reverse course more efficiently, making backing from a one-way street easier. Before the acquisition, Zoox planned to launch a ride-hailing automated-taxi service by the end of 2020. But software problems and the pandemic halted efforts until Amazon jumped into the picture.
If Amazon manages, by the end of the decade, to implement Fully Autonomous Level 5 Driving on its fleet, then we might see a shift in the way goods are being delivered throughout the world. Unfortunately, fully Autonomous Driving may prove to be a money-pit until the technology is elevated and refined.