According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has a year-old team of about 12 people who are actively exploring autonomous vehicles. But don't expect Amazon-branded cars to hit the roads any time soon. The small group is merely acting like an "in-house think tank", as it comes up with ways to leverage self-driving technology, and of course, new ways to bolster the company's online shopping service.
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We can definitely see Amazon diving into autonomous delivery vehicles. The company spends a lot on delivery and has suffered from severe UPS and FedEx shipping delays during past holidays, so it is keen to take control of its delivery chain and drive down costs. It's developing drones as a possible solution, for instance, and autonomous vehicles seem like a natural extension for Amazon to consider.
If Amazon could cut out human drivers, it could also cut costs and manage to have delivery trucks that operate 24/7. It'll therefore be interesting to see if Amazon's self-driving plans ever come to fruition.