Reports have emerged that Amazon.com AMZN will purchase self-driving startup Zoox for “more than $1.2B” with exact details of the deal not disclosed. Amazon says they plan to have Zoox realize its vision of passenger transport (robotaxi) service, which I will dub “AMAZOOX.” At the same time, it is hard to believe they don’t also have interest in robotic delivery and logistics, since that’s a huge part of their business.
I have already done analysis twice on this deal — first when Zoox started shopping, and then when Amazon was revealed as the suitor. All the analysis in these articles remains similar. Today, two things become fact — the confirmation of the deal and Amazon’s declaration that they wish to support the robotaxi vision.
Make no mistake, though. The robotaxi business has the potential to be larger than the retail business that Amazon dominates. People spend close to 5 trillion dollars annually on ground transportation. While no one company will grab it all, the dominant company has the potential to become the world’s largest company (if it wasn’t on track for that already.) This is true even though it may be decades before robotaxis are available everywhere, and even though there will be multiple players, and even though robotaxis will eventually make transportation much cheaper, reducing some of that revenue.