Amazon recently announced its acquisition of Zoox, a developer of Autonomous Passenger Vehicle (APV) technology and an aspiring developer of driverless taxis, for a reported US$1.2 billion. This was markedly less than the company’s 2018 valuation of US$3.2 billion, but since 2018 the optimism about the self-driving car opportunity has fluctuated. Waymo, the market leader in testing, once had an astounding US$175 billion valuation, but this has since plummeted to US$30 billion (17% of the initial valuation). Cruise Automation, General Motors’ (GM) main horse in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) race and second place to Waymo, is valued at US$18 billion. Cruise Automation suggested that unmanned automotive technology represented no less than an US$8 trillion opportunity, larger in fact than the entire Japanese economy. Most of this value (US$5 trillion) is focused on ride-hailing.
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