Amazon bought 1,000 self-driving trucks from a startup, will you say goodbye to drivers?
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Jeff Bezos' Amazon company took another step in the transition to autonomous vehicles . The ecommerce giant bought 1,000 self-driving trucks from a startup called Plus , which specializes in software for autonomous driving systems. The transaction could mean that the company is considering saying goodbye to the drivers who are currently moving and delivering its products.
According to official documents filed with the United States financial markets regulator (SEC), the agreement between Amazon and Plus also gives Bezos the option to buy up to 420 million preferred shares of the startup at a price of only $ 0.47 (about of 9.50 Mexican pesos).
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Thus, Amazon could own around 20% of the company , spending about 200 million dollars (just over 4,000 million Mexican pesos, at the current exchange rate).
The purchase of autonomous trucks would help Amazon deal with the staff shortages currently facing the company and the entire United States. The situation has caused delays in deliveries and an increase in the cost of transportation of merchandise for several companies.
For now, the startup's PlusDrive self-driving system still requires a licensed driver behind the wheel . This as a preventive measure in case errors occur in the system and human reaction is needed, such as in Tesla vehicles .
However, the startup is confident that this will change in the coming years. Plus CEO David Liu told Business Insider that the company hopes to launch a truck that does not require a driver by 2024.
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Amazon and its path to vehicle autonomy
The purchase of driverless trucks is just the latest in a series of efforts to dispense with human labor in freight distribution. For a few years now, Amazon has been trying to implement the delivery system by means of drones , but they have not yet managed to make it massive.
Additionally, in mid-2020, Jeff Bezos's company bought Zoox , a self- driving taxi company, for around $ 1 billion. In December of the same year, Amazon introduced its first fully self-driving robotaxi.
Do you think that in the future we will see driverless Amazon trucks delivering packages through the streets of the world?