According to a recent report from the Financial Times, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just bought self-driving taxi company Zoox for $ 1.2 billion. The deal would probably not be worth mentioning if Tesla CEO Elon Musk later tweeted on Twitter to “sniff” the richest man on the planet.
In his tweet, Musk almost called Bezos an imitation – or “copy cat” – only the word “cat” was replaced by the cat in his tweet.
It is hard to call this a coincidence when this tweet was posted almost immediately after the deal was announced. While Tesla is famous in the electric car industry for its Autopilot feature, this deal allows Amazon to nearly catch up with Tesla in the field of self-driving cars.
Earlier in May, a report from Business Insider said the reason for Amazon’s interest in Zoox is that the company could help the e-commerce giant speed up the delivery process.
Unlike Tesla, Zoox vehicles are designed for trip sharing services, so they can go directly to the customer’s address.
Even before the deal, the heads of the companies Tesla and Zoox had once exchanged words in the media.
In 2019, Musk once said that, in mid-2020, his self-driving cars could operate without human intervention – meaning that drivers don’t even need to see the road when driving. But at the IGNITION 2019 conference, Zoox founder and CTO Jesse Levinson said that it could not happen.
“Based on any known technology that once existed or was created by humans, they don’t have enough sensors or computers to do so.” Levinson said in the seminar. He added that Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving system “is best only on highways … I think if he focuses on that, it will be better received.”
Currently, Tesla’s Autopilot feature, even in the “fully self-driving” option, is not fully functional and still requires human intervention.
Zoox was recently valued at $ 3.2 billion. Like other self-driving car companies, the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a blow to Zoox, forcing them to lay off 120 people in April. While the company is struggling to raise money, the deal with Amazon has become a timely lifesaver for them.
Refer to Business Insider