Zoox Unveiled Its Self-Driving Car — How to Invest in the Company

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Dec. 15 2020, Updated 10:30 a.m. ET

On Dec. 14, Zoox, the self-driving startup, unveiled its first autonomous EV for the robo-taxi market. Zoox was acquired by Amazon this year. The company unveiled a four-person "robo-taxi," which is a multidirectional vehicle aimed at high-density urban areas. It has a carriage-style interior with two benches facing each other. 

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Interestingly, the vehicle doesn't have a steering wheel. It's intended to be a self-driving vehicle only. The robo-taxi measures just less than 12 feet (3.6 meters). The vehicle is claimed to have a top speed of 75 miles per hour and can run up to 16 hours on a single charge. Investors might be wondering whether Zoox is a public company. How can investors get exposure to Zoox? 

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Zoox and autonomous driving

Zoox is a U.S. autonomous vehicle company headquartered in Foster City, Calif. The company was founded in 2014 to provide mobility-as-a-service. Zoox handles the driving, charging, maintenance, and upgrades for its fleet of vehicles. The rider only pays for the service. Zoox develops hardware and software for self-driving vehicles. The company set out on a mission to build electric and driverless vehicles that could be used as taxis or for other functions. Amazon acquired Zoox in 2020.  

Who owns Zoox?

In June 2020, Amazon agreed to buy Zoox for $1.2 billion. However, Zoox continues to exist as a standalone subsidiary of Amazon with CEO Aicha Evans and chief technology officer, Jesse Levinson. At the time, Amazon said that the deal would help bring Zoox’s “vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality.”  

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Zoox's stock price

Zoox isn't a publicly-traded company. As a result, the stock isn't available for public trading. 

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Can I buy Zoox stock?

Zoox stock isn't a public company and it doesn't intend to do an IPO soon. So, it might not be possible for investors to buy Zoox stock as a standalone investment. However, Amazon is Zoox’s parent company. 

If you believe in Zoox’s future potential, then owning Amazon could give you exposure to Zoox's potential growth. However, owning Amazon means that you will have exposure to the multitude of other businesses that Amazon is into including e-commerce, grocery stores, cloud services, and pharmacy services.  

Amazon has a lot of ambitions in the robo-taxi and autonomous vehicle space. The company also has a stake in EV startup Rivian, which plans to come up with an electric pickup truck. The autonomous vehicle and robo-taxi vehicle race is heating up. In October, Alphabet’s self-driving unit, Waymo started a fully driverless taxi service in Phoenix. Cruise, backed by General Motors, is also testing autonomous cars. 

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