This year has been an interesting time for the Autonomous driving sector on the world stage. Multiple breakthroughs in Level 4 and 5 autonomous driving capabilities have finally managed to alert the radars of the likes of Amazon. Three weeks back it was publicly published that Amazon acquired Zoox for $1.2bn. The purchase has indicated rumours and speculations of Amazons attempt to shave the fat off of Amazon even further by introducing unmanned last mile delivery solutions.
Amazon currently has a fleet of circa 50,000 branded delivery vans and trailers and has placed orders to Rivian for a further 100,000 electric vans. Amazon is also a key stakeholder in Rivian so considering that Zoox technology has been acquired it puts Amazon in a crucial place for Rivian. Its clear Amazons ambitions are to synergise the technological competencies and have in place I would speculate a 36 to 60 month window in which to have unmanned vans delivering.
This synergy will springboard Amazon to new bounds on the Nasdaq. Currently, as it stands today Amazon is valued at 1,53Tn, with the potential of unmanned vehicles this could put Amazon in the neighborhood of a 3 trillion dollar company in the next 3 years. Unmanned vans would not only relieve the company of operating expenses, but will also improve efficiency and convenience with potentially 24 hour deliveries.
The technological breakthrough would also allow Amazon to make in roads in businesses that they currently hadn't had the opportunity to do so with. Shopify relies heavily on third parties to act as conduits to deliver sellers goods to customers, with the possibility of a revenue share with Amazon Shopify sellers will be able to deliver their goods using Amazon delivery and Shopify will earn margins on that arrangement.
This type of power could yield Amazon scrutiny with Antitrust laws however if Rivian evolves in to a last mile manufacturer this could place Amazon at arms length from any irregularities.