Amazon, the eCommerce behemoth, has been making steady strides in the automotive industry and larger mobility landscape over the past decade. The company is slowly building relevant capabilities using a focused approach, giving it a foothold across automotive CASE and retail avenues.
When it comes to connected vehicles, Amazon’s primary offering is Amazon Web Services, which offers a whole host of services for automotive companies across three key cloud computing models, namely, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Software as a Service. This offers automotive companies various services, including data storage, data computing, data analytics, networking, enterprise solutions, data security, and developer tools.
The services are offered in a pay-as-you-go pricing model, offering customers the flexibility to choose their most required services. Another offering in the connected vehicles space is the Alexa voice assistant from Amazon. As of 2020, there are about 100,000 Alexa skills, of which 161 relate to connected cars. It plans to develop and launch skills for various in-vehicle HMI features such as center stack, instrument cluster, HUD, and RSE system in the future.
In the autonomous realm, Amazon focuses on investments and acquisitions aimed primarily at automating every stage of its fulfillment in the future. Analysis of the company’s investments and acquisitions indicate that they would like to automate last mile, middle mile, and warehouse operations across the globe.
In terms of autonomous passenger transportation, the only significant move the company has made is the acquisition of Zoox, a US-based company that is building a robotaxi. This vehicle can be used for enabling autonomous ridesharing services of the future. Amazon is also making significant forays in the last-mile food delivery space. The company invested in Deliveroo in the United Kingdom, and in 2020, it launched the Amazon Food delivery service in India.
Amazon has set a goal to achieve 100% carbon neutrality in its operations by 2040 and has commenced working toward that goal. The company is making investments and engaging in partnerships that will help electrify its logistics fleets across the middle mile and last mile. Amazon has made a significant investment in Rivian, holding a 20% stake in the electric van maker.
Through partnerships with local charging station providers, it has begun setting up charging stations within its fulfillment centers in the United States and Europe to support its EV fleets. Amazon has also invested in companies with capabilities in areas such as battery management systems and battery recycling.
For automotive retailing, Amazon offers Garage that helps users register their vehicles and find the most suitable spare parts they require. Amazon Vehicles is a database of vehicles that helps customers in vehicle purchase research with rich information about vehicle specifications, reviews, photos, and videos.
Amazon Home Services allows users to find technicians and schedule repair and installations from the comfort of their homes. The company is also selling major automotive components and accessories through private labeling. In addition, Amazon has launched a car leasing service in Spain and a car rental service in the United Arab Emirates.