Reuters columnists Paul Lienert and Jeffrey Dastin have a column that is pegged on Amazon’s multi-hundred million dollar investment in electric truck maker Rivian. But what the post really does is highlight how much Amazon is investing in the entire mobility sector.
Amazon is leading a $700 million investment round in an electric truck maker that has yet to launch a product. “ Amazon is hoping Rivian will assist it in its development of delivery vehicles that will bolster its logistics network,” according to Reuters.
Also from Reuters: “Last year, Mercedes said Amazon had become the biggest customer of its Sprinter vans, securing 20,000 vehicles for delivery contractors.”
Amazon is not going to play dead while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay win the in-car infotainment market. “Working with BMW AG, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp, Amazon has enabled its Alexa virtual assistant to be installed in new models so drivers can dictate what music they want to hear and what tasks they want it to perform, hands-free.”
“Amazon has stepped up its investment in the car sector, participating in a $530 million funding round announced last week in self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation Inc.”
Here are even more Amazon investments not listed in that Reuters column.
On January 23rd, Amazon announced: “ Starting today, these devices will begin delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington.”
In the spirit of driving AWS usage, Amazon commercialized a mini-self-driving car concept that had become popular among hackers. “AWS DeepRacer is the fastest way to get rolling with machine learning, literally. Get hands-on with a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car driven by reinforcement learning, 3D racing simulator, and global racing league.”
Amazon Robotics is the most “real” of all of these efforts, having been acquired as Kiva Systems in 2012. According to The New York Times, “ Amazon now [July, 2018] has more than 100,000 robots in action around the world, and it has plans to add many more to the mix.”
Amazon has quietly kind of gone everywhere in this market.