After six years in business, Zoox has revealed its first vehicle. And importantly for investors, this means that the first robotaxi for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) could be just around the corner. Remember, Amazon acquired the self-driving vehicle startup over the summer. So what do investors need to know about the Zoox autonomous EV? And what does this mean for AMZN stock?
With those questions in mind, here are 14 things to know:
- Zoox has been around since 2014, and has primarily operated in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Unlike other companies involved in the autonomous vehicle space, Zoox wants to work with entirely new vehicles, not retrofitted cars.
- While it has been testing its tech, the company has used retrofitted Toyota (NYSE:TM) Highlanders.
- However, on Monday, the company unveiled its first Zoox autonomous EV for the robotaxi market.
- Importantly, the Zoox autonomous EV is completely electric.
- Also importantly, Amazon acquired Zoox for $1.2 billion in June 2020. This means that it could very well become Amazon’s first robotaxi.
- Zoox intends the robotaxi to be fully self-driving, and the vehicle does not have a steering wheel.
- Additionally, the Zoox autonomous EV consists of a carriage-style vehicle with two benches that face each other.
- This means that the vehicle can accommodate four passengers.
- Because it is an all-electric vehicle, investors should also pay attention to its range and battery capabilities.
- Right now, Amazon and Zoox say that the vehicle can travel for up to 16 hours on a single charge thanks to its 133 kilowatt hour battery.
- The Zoox autonomous EV also has a 270-degree view at each corner thanks to a system of LiDAR sensors, radars and cameras.
- Investors will likely note the recent popularity of LiDAR companies like Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR) and Velodyne Lidar (NASDAQ:VLDR).
- Zoox will not be launching in 2021.
AMZN Stock and the Zoox Autonomous EV
So why should investors really care about the Zoox autonomous EV? Amazon is a simply massive company. Through its many arms, Amazon touches e-commerce, cloud computing, grocery stores, pharmacy services and so much more. It also has a stake in electric vehicle startup Rivian, which is planning to electrify trucks and SUVs. So then why is the news Monday anything for investors to consider when it comes to AMZN stock?
Well, in the short term, it may not be a huge deal for AMZN stock. With the knowledge that Zoox will not be launching the robotaxi in 2021, it could be a while until Amazon even has its first robotaxi on the road. However, investors should see right now that there is a much larger opportunity in the long term.
Importantly, this summer has brought about renewed interest in self-driving vehicles, especially for their potential to enable contactless taxi rides and order deliveries. Additionally, robotaxi fleets are largely seen as the future of transportation in high-density urban areas. This year has also brought updates on the startup Nuro as it works to pilot deliveries, and on Cruise, an offshoot of General Motors (NYSE:GM) working to electrify city robotaxis.
But Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos does not like to lose. Industry experts have already noted that the Zoox autonomous EV has successfully differentiated itself with a medium size, bi-directional driving capabilities and its sleek design. With the potential to be Amazon’s first robotaxi, there is a lot to like. And even more importantly, there is always reason to believe that if Amazon enters a race, it has the potential to be the winner. The world of self-driving cars is no different.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.