Amazon Purchases 1,000 Self-Driving Truck Systems from Plus, Marking a Further Step Towards Autonomy

plus
(Source: Plus)

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.

SEE ALSO: Alibaba to Develop Self-Driving Trucks, Eyeing Next Potential Hot Spot in China’s Tech Sector

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.