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Under the hood of Amazon's grand ambitions

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 31, 2019 - Duration: 02:07s

Under the hood of Amazon's grand ambitions

Amazon is expanding its transportation prowess to do virtually everything short of building a car.

Jane Lanhee Lee reports.

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Under the hood of Amazon's grand ambitions

You may know Amazon is trying to get customers their packages through the sky Or with these sidewalk robots.

But Amazon's ambition in transportation is bigger and broader than just innovative deliveries.

While Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said little publicly about his grand plans, Reuters examined Amazon's recent investments, partnerships and patents, and found the online retail giant has been knitting together a multibillion-dollar global transportation ecosystem that could one day rival players from UPS to Uber .

Reuters correspondent Paul Lienert.

SOUNDBITE: REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, PAUL LIENERT, saying: "Amazon has been making big bets on transportation.

Since February it's participated in nearly $2 billion in funding for three transportation startups -- electric truck makers Rivian, self-driving systems Aurora, and food delivery company Deliveroo.

In the past two years Amazon also has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a dozen other transportation startups." And it's not just investments in startups.

A Reuters analysis of more than 5,000 patents granted to AMAZON since December 2016 indicates at least 210 of those patents cover transportation-related topics from drones to automated ground vehicles.

SOUNDBITE: REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, PAUL LIENERT, saying: Amazon spends $30 billion a year in shipping and it's no secret the compawants to take more control of its logistics So many of its patents involve some aspect of deliveries.

But what we found goes well beyond that.

Amazon was granted several patents that involve the transport of passengers, including a 2017 patent to provide an on-demand transportation service through a network of self-driving vehicles." And Amazon is also planning a deeper push into the car dashboard.

AMAZONS digital assistant Alexa is already embedded in a number of new vehicles.

And owners of some Ford, GM, Volvo and Honda models can get Amazon packages delivered to those cars when they're parked through another program called Key by Amazon.

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