People make jokes about Amazon taking over the world all the time, but a new report about the company’s silent foray into the transportation industry from Reuters makes those feelings seem all the more realistic.
The report goes into great detail explaining how over the years Amazon has slowly been investing, acquiring and making deals with transportation and automotive companies for what Reuters believes is a pair of related goals.
Both goals relate to delivering goods and utilizing Amazon Web Services. Ideally, the company wants to streamline both the delivery process for both consumers and manufacturers.
On the manufacturer side of things, the company is working with Volkswagen to connect the automaker’s factories to its suppliers, ship products with (likely self-driving) Prime branded transportation and use Amazon Web Service technology to digitize the German company’s factories.
For consumers, Amazon is working on its Alexa Auto software and hardware, last-mile delivery robots and a new technique for delivering packages to customers’ vehicles instead of their doorsteps.
To make all of this happen, the company has invested, bought or patented a variety of technologies and companies over the past few years.
For example, it’s invested in both self-driving technology company Aurora and EV startup Rivian. Beyond that, it has been rumoured to have bought robotics company Dispatch. On an internal level, the company has also filed 210 patents that relate to transportation. This includes things like drones and automated ground vehicles, reports Reuters.
On the Alexa side of things, the company is partnering with a wide variety of automakers including Audi, Ford, Lexus, Toyota and others to add the digital assistant to their vehicles. It’s also working on an Echo-branded device so anyone can bring Alexa on the go with them, according to the Reuters report.
Overall, it seems that there isn’t an industry that Amazon isn’t trying to disrupt. Recent reports even claim that the company’s Whole Foods acquisition was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its grocery ambitions.
Now that Reuters has shown off the company’s transportation-related ambitions, maybe it will be more transparent when it comes to what its goal is in the future.
Source: Reuters, TechCrunch