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Amazon seeks to be ‘go-to’ source for vehicle maintenance

The internet giant has targeted mobility as a significant part of its goal of becoming the “Everything Store” for consumers

Fort Wayne, Ind.—By acquiring tech companies, forming strategic relationships, and developing its cyber services, Amazon has expanded its footprint into three key sectors of the fast-changing trillion-dollar consumer mobility market: Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), Electric Vehicles (EVs), and Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

“Amazon’s growth in the auto parts repair industry is positioning it as the go-to source for vehicle maintenance and provides it with a stepping stone into the burgeoning mobility market,” states a recent Lang Aftermarket iReport. “With its acquisitions, partnerships and cyber developments, Amazon has become a leading force in the rapidly evolving consumer mobility market, no matter what shape it might take.”

The following are highlights from the report.

Major Target: Mobility
Amazon has targeted mobility as a significant part of its goal of becoming the “Everything Store” for consumers, reaching far beyond everyday consumer products.

Few areas of consumers’ future spending will be larger or more significant than the mobility market.
To achieve this, Amazon is broadening its mobility footprint through acquisitions, key partnerships, and its existing cyber capabilities.

Acquisitions and Investments
Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox is one of its recent steps to become a leader in the evolving consumer mobility market. Other investments over the last several years, such as Aurora, have given Amazon a wide array of mobility technologies.

Key Relationships
Amazon has forged key relationships across a wide range of mobility technologies. Although it has reduced its investment in Rivian, the electric truck maker, Amazon’s intention to have 100,000 electric delivery trucks on the road by 2030 significantly influences all companies’ development of electric delivery trucks.

Amazon operates the country’s most extensive deliver system, leaving FedEx and UPS behind and giving it influence in developing those electric units through the end of the decade and beyond.

Cyber Power
Amazon has developed a cyber capability through its cyber services (AWS), which connects Amazon with countless mobility companies and their emerging technologies.

In the coming years, AWS will be a central cyber foundation on which the entire mobility industry is based, particularly in terms of its computing power, cloud-based capabilities, and other evolving cyber capabilities.

Three Areas of Mobility
Mobility in the U.S. is undergoing changes in three areas that will dramatically transform the nature of consumer mobility over the next several decades: Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

Autonomous Vehicles
AVs face significant challenges, but they remain a hot subject and area of investment among car and tech companies. While level 5 AVs (driving in all conditions without human assistance) may be decades away, progressively higher levels of vehicle autonomy will enter service on U.S. roads in the coming years.

Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox and investment in Aurora give it a strong position in AV development. A key application of driverless technology by Amazon could be its own large delivery fleet. Replacing drivers with AV technology (although probably many years away) provides Amazon with a strong incentive to move AV technology forward as quickly as possible.

Electric Vehicles
So far, EVs represent only a small portion of new vehicle sales in the U.S. However, some analysts believe the flood of new EV models entering the U.S. market over the next few years could boost EV sales.

While Amazon and Rivian have dissolved their agreement that gave Amazon exclusive order rights for Rivian’s electric delivery vans, Amazon plans to have 100,000 electric delivery trucks on the road by 2030. This provides Amazon with influence over the development of electric delivery trucks by all companies.

In another area of EV development, Amazon’s Zoox produced an electric robotaxi and has put it through extensive testing. This has important implications for the development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

While MaaS can take many forms, current examples include ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft.

Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox expands its ability to provide the kind of self-driving vehicle (robotaxi) that could be the cornerstone of the MaaS model that some analysts believe has the potential to replace much vehicle ownership in the future. Amazon’s Zoox robotaxi is already giving rides to employees in California.

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