Connect with us

Mobility Report

### Unveiling the Future: Amazon’s Zoox Robotaxis Could Drive Prime Membership to New Heights — This title captures the essence of Amazon’s possible integration of Zoox robotaxi services into its Prime subscription, while hinting at the broader implications for both the company and its customers.



Hints surface regarding Amazon's enigmatic strategy for Zoox autonomous taxis

An analyst suggests that the self-driving service may be included in Amazon Prime memberships.

Since Amazon purchased the robotaxi startup nearly four years ago, the tech giant's future intentions for Zoox have remained unclear.

"It seems as though they vanished without a trace," stated Gartner Inc. analyst Michael Ramsey regarding Zoox.

Recent advancements in various segments of Amazon's operations suggest potential plans for Zoox as it prepares to launch its commercial driverless service, anticipated by year's end.

Being integrated into the Amazon network, Zoox is uniquely placed to offer a customer experience — both within the vehicle and outside of it — that stands out in the self-driving industry.

The adventure might kick off with a robotaxi service included in Amazon's Prime membership plan.

Subscribers to the Prime membership program enjoy unique discounts and perks related to delivery services, entertainment and streaming options, prescription medications, and additional benefits for an annual fee of $139.

Last week, Amazon introduced a new cost-effective grocery delivery option for its Prime members. For a monthly fee of $10, subscribers can enjoy unlimited deliveries on purchases of $35 or more from Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh, both of which are owned by Amazon.

Grayson Brulte, who leads the market intelligence company Road to Autonomy, mentioned that a comparable initiative might soon be developed with Zoox. "This is the natural progression for Amazon," he commented.

When questioned about a potential collaboration with Prime, Zoox representatives were cautious in their responses.

A company representative mentioned that while it's a possibility they could investigate in theory, their current priority is launching their self-driving ride-hailing service.

Zoox leaders have consistently maintained their commitment to ride-hailing, despite external expectations that they might shift towards package delivery, especially considering Amazon's expertise in logistics.

Zoox offers transportation services for its staff commuting between its main office in Foster City, California, and a close-by location. The company intends to start a commercial robotaxi service in Las Vegas within this year.

Incorporating Zoox into a Prime subscription would provide the company with a solid business plan as it targets Las Vegas and, in the future, other areas. This becomes crucial as Zoox moves from the development phase to commercialization.

According to a representative from Zoox, the company has around 2,400 staff members. Their official website currently advertises 265 job vacancies.

According to Brulte, Amazon probably aims to begin recovering part of its expenditures, particularly as CEO Andy Jassy focuses on optimizing efficiency and improving profit margins throughout the organization.

"Amazon has moved past the phase of excessive spending," Brulte remarked. "Zoox must now shift towards a business model focused on commercialization, and eventually, they'll be required to demonstrate some quantifiable results."

Despite competitors like Google's Waymo and General Motors-supported Cruise starting commercial autonomous services in recent years, Zoox has progressed more cautiously. This has raised ongoing doubts about its technological proficiency.

Ramsey explained that people are familiar with the capabilities of Cruise, Waymo, and even Motional through their own experiences. However, when it comes to Zoox, there's a lack of clarity about their progress.

Established in 2014, Zoox embarked on a challenging journey, working on creating an electric vehicle from scratch and developing a self-driving technology, all while planning its own ride-hailing service.

The car lacks standard control mechanisms like a steering wheel and brake pedals. This has presented numerous initial challenges for the company to overcome, according to Marc Wimmershoff, who is the vice president of autonomy software at Zoox.

To illustrate, both Waymo and Cruise have adapted their current vehicles to allow for manual adjustments if they encounter a situation where they are immobilized, a scenario both firms have experienced. Conversely, Zoox's vehicles are required to operate flawlessly without any exceptions.

"Every player will eventually need to tackle these issues," Wimmershoff stated. "However, the timing of when these problems are addressed varies based on the chosen approach."

There are benefits. By abandoning a traditional vehicle design intended for human drivers, Zoox has created a vehicle that optimizes space, comfort, and passenger interaction.

Wimmershoff mentioned that self-driving taxis lacking traditional controls can leave a good impression on users who may not be well-versed in technology, and the experience should resemble that of a train transporting passengers to or from an airport.

He mentioned that for those who aren't tech-savvy, it can be quite unsettling to ride in a self-driving car and watch the steering wheel move on its own. He imagined his grandparents being fascinated by such a sight. However, he assured that when you try their service, it feels completely natural.

With no apparent driver controlling the wheel, Zoox could offer passengers a variety of new ways to stay engaged.

Picture yourself cruising along the Strip in a self-driving pod, catching a "Thursday Night Football" game, which is now only available on Amazon Prime Video. Brulte suggested that in the future, collaborations with casinos could enable Zoox passengers to place bets on these games as they ride.

"Gaming is incredibly popular right now, so picture yourself playing those games in a Zoox vehicle with the ability to place bets," he stated. "That would be quite an experience."

Implementing such a feature would necessitate an amendment to Nevada's gaming laws, which currently ban mobile casinos.

Despite its in-cabin features, Zoox has moved closer to achieving technical milestones that pave the way for its commercial launch.

In March, the company broadened its testing zone in Las Vegas to cover around 5 miles of streets near the Strip. Additionally, it increased the driving speeds to a maximum of 45 mph at its Las Vegas and Foster City sites.

Zoox has introduced features that enable functioning in light rain and during nighttime, which is particularly crucial in Las Vegas, where there is a continuous demand for transportation from tourists, gamblers, and workers.

However, there is an additional risk in play, which could hinder Zoox's plans for future expansion.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently investigating if the company's autonomous taxi meets the safety regulations set by the federal government for motor vehicles.

Zoox declared that it complied with the regulations, despite its vehicles not having conventional driving controls.

Following Zoox's initial deployment of its vehicle on public roads in February 2023, the NHTSA launched an "audit query" to assess if the company adhered to its legal requirements.

The inquiry is still in progress.

A Zoox representative stated in a written statement that the company remains dedicated to collaborating with NHTSA and addressing their inquiries comprehensively.

If the agency blocks self-certification, Zoox's robotaxi deployment plans would face delays. The company would need to seek a different regulatory route to obtain an exemption for its vehicles, a process that could take several years.

In the interim, the issue of robotaxis has turned into a controversial political subject. Labor unions, such as the Teamsters, are advocating for regulations that would either make it more difficult to deploy robotaxis or ban them entirely from public streets. As the tech industry clashes with labor organizations, a decision from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) might not be reached until after the November elections.

At that point, Zoox might be transporting people in Las Vegas. It's a gamble. However, if the NHTSA decides that the vehicle meets the required standards, Amazon's investment in self-driving technology could finally yield returns.

Suggested Reading

Detroit chosen as one of three international cities for a sustainability competition

Contact us with your feedback

Do you have thoughts on this article? Submit a Letter to the Editor by clicking here, and it might be included in our print edition.

Subscribe to Our Free Newsletters

Daily Digest (Weekdays)

Weekly Digest (Mondays)

Urgent News Updates (As Required)

Yes, I want to get emails about editorial highlights, exclusive deals, studies, events, and webinars from Automotive News.


Please provide a valid email address.

Kindly provide your email address.

Kindly confirm the captcha.

Kindly choose at least one newsletter to sign up for.

Explore additional newsletter choices at You have the option to unsubscribe at any moment via the links provided in these emails. For further details, refer to our Privacy Policy.

Online Version

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE NEWSLETTER: Subscribe to our Thursday afternoon Transportation Update newsletter, your comprehensive source for the latest trends and innovations in the transportation and tech sectors.

Subscribe now to receive top stories from Automotive News directly in your email inbox at no cost. Select your preferred news – we’ll handle the delivery.

Gain round-the-clock access to comprehensive and reliable reporting on the automotive industry from a worldwide team of journalists and editors, delivering essential news for your business.

Our purpose

To equip present and upcoming business leaders with the essential insights, knowledge, and networks necessary to excel in a swiftly evolving industry.

1155 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48207-2997

You can reach them at 877-812-1584

Send us an

Automotive News Print ISSN: 0005-1551 Online ISSN: 1557-7686

Discover more from Automobilnews News - The first AI News Portal world wide

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Cars & Concepts11 mins ago

Ram’s Innovative Step: The Dual-Purpose Deployable Rear Step and Diffuser Aiming to Boost Electric Truck Efficiency

Cars & Concepts41 mins ago

Rivian Accelerates Electric Hatchback Race: R3X to Launch Before R3, CEO Confirms

Cars & Concepts1 hour ago

Volkswagen Group Brands Porsche and Audi Adjust EV Transition Timelines, Embrace PHEVs Amidst Technological and Demand Challenges

Cars & Concepts2 hours ago

GM’s Electric Vehicle Setbacks: Delays for Electric Truck Plant and Buick EV Unveiling

Moto GP4 hours ago

Trackhouse Racing Secures Raul Fernandez for 2025 MotoGP Season with New Two-Year Deal

Automakers & Suppliers4 hours ago

Driving the Future: Unveiling Ferrari’s Top Innovations in Supercar Technology

Automakers & Suppliers4 hours ago

Unveiling Ferrari’s Latest Innovations: Exploring Cutting-Edge Technology and Design in the Iconic Italian Supercar

Moto GP4 hours ago

Marc Marquez Opens Up About Feasible Switch to KTM or Aprilia and Future MotoGP Aspirations Amid Ducati Shift

Automakers & Suppliers6 hours ago

## Lamborghini’s AI Reporter: Unveiling the Future of Italian Luxury Vehicles and High-Performance Automobiles

Automakers & Suppliers6 hours ago

Top BMW Innovations: Unveiling Cutting-Edge Technology and AI Advancements in the Latest BMW News and Models

Automakers & Suppliers6 hours ago

Top Audi News: Exploring Audi’s Latest Innovations and AI-Driven Sustainability Efforts

Politics11 hours ago

Global Shakeup: Starmer Responds to Biden’s Exit from Presidential Race Amidst UK Political Maneuvering

Politics11 hours ago

Mel Stride Eyes Conservative Leadership Bid Amid Uncertain Campaign Timetable

Politics12 hours ago

Labour Urged to Confront ‘Net Zero Nimbys’ to Promote Green Energy and Reduce Utility Bills

Politics12 hours ago

Parliament Elects New Leadership: Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs Set for Two-and-a-Half-Year Term

Politics12 hours ago

From Crime Journalist to Leadership Contender: Russell Findlay Announces Bid for Scottish Conservative Leadership

Politics12 hours ago

Parliament Elects New Leadership: Comprehensive Breakdown of Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs

Politics13 hours ago

Revealed: Scrapped Rwanda Scheme Cost £700m Without Migrant Transfers, Tories Planned £10bn Spend

Moto GP2 months ago

Enea Bastianini’s Bold Stand Against MotoGP Penalties Sparks Debate: A Dive into the Controversial Catalan GP Decision

Moto GP2 months ago

Aleix Espargaro’s Valiant Battle in Catalunya: A Lion’s Heart Against Marc Marquez’s Precision

Sports2 months ago

Leclerc Conquers Monaco: Home Victory Breaks Personal Curse and Delivers Emotional Triumph

Moto GP2 months ago

Raul Fernandez Grapples with Rear Tyre Woes Despite Strong Performance at Catalunya MotoGP

Sports2 months ago

Verstappen Identifies Sole Positive Amidst Red Bull’s Monaco Struggles: A Weekend to Reflect and Improve

Moto GP2 months ago

Joan Mir’s Tough Ride in Catalunya: Honda’s New Engine Configuration Fails to Impress

Sports2 months ago

Leclerc’s Monaco Triumph Cuts Verstappen’s Lead: F1 Championship Standings Shakeup After 2024 Monaco GP

Sports2 months ago

Leclerc Triumphs at Home: 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Round 8 Victory and Highlights

Sports2 months ago

Perez Shaken and Surprised: Calls for Penalty After Dramatic Monaco Crash with Magnussen

Sports2 months ago

Gasly Condemns Ocon’s Aggressive Move in Monaco Clash: Team Harmony and Future Strategies at Stake

Business2 months ago

Driving Success: Mastering the Fast Lane of Vehicle Manufacturing, Automotive Sales, and Aftermarket Services

Business2 months ago

Shifting Gears for Success: Exploring the Future of the Automobile Industry through Vehicle Manufacturing, Sales, and Advanced Technologies

Business2 months ago

Driving Success in the Fast Lane: Mastering Market Trends, Technological Innovations, and Strategic Excellence in the Automobile Industry

Tech2 months ago

Driving the Future: Exploring Top Innovations in Automotive Technology for Enhanced Safety, Efficiency, and Connectivity

AI2 months ago

Revolutionizing the Future: How Leading AI Innovations Like and Are Redefining Industries

Business2 months ago

Hong Kong’s Ambitious Leap: The City’s Strategic Roadmap to Becoming a Global Innovation and Tech Hub

Business2 months ago

Driving Success: Mastering the Automobile Industry with Key Insights on Vehicle Manufacturing, Automotive Sales, and Beyond

Tech2 months ago

Revving Up the Future: Top Automotive Technology Trends Driving Sustainability, Safety, and the Electric Revolution


Get ready for a groundbreaking shift in the world of artificial intelligence as the V12 AI Revolution is on the horizon


Business NEWS



Chatten Sie mit uns

Hallo! Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?

Discover more from Automobilnews News - The first AI News Portal world wide

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading