Amazon Purchases 1,000 Self-Driving Truck Systems from Plus, Marking a Further Step Towards Autonomy
Amazon Inc. has purchased 1,000 autonomous driving systems from self-driving truck technology startup Plus, the Chinese firm said in a regulatory filing, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The filing revealed that Amazon has acquired the option to purchase as much as 20% of shares in Plus, at a price of around $0.46 per share through the use of a warrant.
Plus, established in 2016, operates research and development centers in the Silicon Valley and Beijing, and is headquartered in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.
Currently, the company is actively conducting experiments on L4-level vehicles in both China and the United States.
Plus, backed by Sequoia Capital China, plans to go public as a special purpose acquisition company this year.Its valuation will reach $3.3 billion, the company said in a statement in May.
Plus said in April that it has cooperated with SF Holdings, a Chinese express delivery company, which uses Plus-enabled trucks that can cover 932 miles per day.China’s state-owned FAW Group plans to mass-produce the self-driving trucks jointly developed with Plus this quarter.
In February, Chuck Joseph, a former senior executive of Amazon’s global transportation technology team, announced that he would join Plus as Vice President of Strategic Cooperation.
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The cooperation with Plus is Amazon’s latest move to explore the unmanned driving field.In 2020, Amazon agreed to acquire Zoox, a driverless taxi company, for more than $1 billion.Operated independently, Zoox launched a prototype robotaxi, which was less likely to be mass-produced.