Elon Musk vs Jeff Bezos: Billionaire’s feud after Amazon acquires self-driving-car startup

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This came after the Financial Times reported the Seattle tech giant acquired the self-driving-taxi company Zoox for $1.2 billion (£1billion). In the tweet Mr Musk targeted Mr Bezos with a yellow cat icon which many have concluded was an allusion to ‘copycat’. Business Insider tried getting a comment off Mr Bezos, however, Amazon declined their request.

The apparent jibe comes as Amazon’s acquisition puts the company at a more level playing field with Tesla in the self-driving arena.

It was reported back in May that Amazon has its eyes on Zoox to help out with its package delivery process.

Tesla’s vehicles are built to go directly to customers, whereas Zoox’s are designed for ride-hailing.

This isn’t the first time Elon Musk has hit out at Zoox.

Back in 2019, Musk said that by 2025 his company’s self-driving cars would be fully operational without human interaction.

This would mean that by the middle this decade, drivers may not have to even look at the road while driving.

In 2019, Business Insider held its ‘Ignition’ conference.


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At the event, Zoox co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Jesse Levinson said there was no chance of that happening.

He said: “They don’t have enough sensors or computers to do that given any remotely known technology that exists that humans have ever created.

“They’re great cars”.

He also commented on the Tesla Autopilot system asserting “on the freeway is, I think, the best out there … I think if he focused on that aspect it would be better received”.
It’s believed that the Autopilot feature in Tesla is not yet fully autonomous and that a great deal of human interaction is still required.


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The company Zoox was recently valued at $3.2billion (£2.6billion).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoox has taken a sizable hit from the associated economic slump.

Similar to other autonomous-vehicle companies, Zoox has had to lay off employees, losing 120 back in April.

The company has struggled to raise capital recently, according to Axios, and this deal with Amazon could help it stay afloat.

One company that certainly hasn’t suffered due to COVID-19 is Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

It’s rumoured that Mr Bezos is $50 billion richer than he was in February—before coronavirus-fuelled uncertainty tanked stocks globally.

This week alone, Bezos’ net worth is up to $5.6 billion, ending Thursday at $164.5 billion.

Shares of Amazon continued their months-long tear this week, rising by 4% and hitting another all-time high on Tuesday.

This came after the firm announced a $2 billion venture capital fund, dubbed the Climate Pledge Fund, to invest in companies that are helping to reduce carbon emissions.

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