Amazon bets on autonomous vehicle technology29. June 2021
Amazon bets on autonomous vehicle technology
New York, 6/29/2021
Amazon has ordered 1,000 autonomous driving systems from Plus.ai, a California-based autonomous driving technology company. The e-commerce giant also acquired the option to buy a 20 percent stake in Plus before the company merged with Hennessy Capital, a SPAC that also sponsored the IPO debut of Canoo, another electric vehicle startup.
Plus.ai was founded in 2016 by a group of Stanford PhDs and has a reported valuation of $3.3B. The startup has raised $520M to date. Its investors include Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures and Mayfield Fund.
Plus began shipping its PlusDrive autonomous driving system to some U.S. and Chinese customers this year. Plus is working with SF Holding, a Chinese delivery company, to develop autonomous driving delivery trucks.
Plus also plans to partner with state-owned China FAW Group to develop and mass produce autonomous trucks this quarter.
The Plus deal is one of many bets Amazon has made on autonomous vehicle technology.
In 2019, it acquired Emark’s self-driving vehicles. Last year, it acquired Zoox, an autonomous vehicle company focused on commercial ride-sharing.
Amazon has also invested in Aurora, an autonomous driving startup, and Rivian, an electric vehicle company.