Amazon builds team for autonomous vehicle technology

Amazon has quietly pulled together a team to home in on autonomous vehicle technology and how to leverage it for the online retail giant’s needs, potentially aiding its quest for quick delivery, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The team consists of about a dozen employees who focus more broadly on how Amazon can deliver its own products more quickly but who aren’t necessarily building self-driving vehicles, people familiar with the matter told The Journal. The team formed over a year ago.

The report said Amazon is interested in autonomous trucking as it anticipates becoming its own transportation system for deliveries and potentially for other companies at levels that take on UPS and FedEx.

An Amazon spokesperson did not return requests for comment.

Amazon consistently has been edging into the automotive space. It launched Amazon Vehicles, a vehicle-research portal, in August; it has long partnered with major aftermarket suppliers to deliver products; and its voice-activated virtual assistant, Alexa, has made its way into connectivity systems in Ford, BMW, Hyundai-Genesis and Volkswagen vehicles.

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