Amazon gives wings to its auto ambition, signs 210 transport-related patents
Amazon is now looking to leverage its strengths in logistics to boost its activities in the automotive industry, according to a Reuters report.
Among the 5,000 patents granted to Amazon by the US Patent and Trademark Office from December 2016 to May 2019, 210 of them were transportation-related.
The company's corporate customers include United Parcel Services and Uber Technologies, which might lose their business with the company and ‘should be very scared’, the report added.
The tech giant is "always looking for ways to more closely integrate Amazon services,” Ned Curic who joined Amazon to oversee Alexa Auto in 2017, told the news agency.
Commenting on the patents filed, a spokesperson of the company reportedly said,
“Like many companies, we file a number of forward-looking patent applications that explore the full possibilities of new technology. Patents take multiple years to receive and do not necessarily reflect current developments to products and services.”
Although Amazon's plan to expand to the transport and logistics sector is not publicly acknowledged, efforts in this direction are visible.
On Thursday, the company said it had signed a lease with GMR Hyderabad Airport City to expand its largest Fulfilment Centre (FC) in India.
Earlier in May, Amazon Founder-CEO Jeff Bezos announced an investment of $1.5 billion in a three million square feet air hub to make the company's delivery system more efficient. At the time, Bezos said that the Prime benefits of two-day delivery will be made one day.
In December 2018, it announced that it plans to open another regional air hub at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas.
Amazon has also shown interest in the Indian transportation ecosystem as well. In July 2018, Amazon led the Series B funding in Gurugram-based bus aggregator Shuttl when it raised $11 million.
In the US and elsewhere, the company provided funds of $2 billion to three startups including electric truck maker Rivian Automotive, self-driving systems developer Aurora, and food delivery firm Deliveroo, according to Reuters.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)