Amazon steers further toward autos, hires GM executive: source

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 01 2019 08:21 AM

The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, US, Feb. 14, 2019. Brendan McDermid, Reuters

NEW YORK -- Amazon has hired a top General Motors executive, a source familiar with the move said Thursday, in a further sign of the technology giant's likely expansion into autonomous vehicles.

The tech group's new executive is Alicia Boler Davis, who has been head of GM's global manufacturing operations.

Amazon had no immediate comment on the hiring of Davis, reported earlier by CNBC.

GM said in a statement earlier Thursday that Davis was leaving "to pursue other opportunities" after 25 years with the Detroit auto giant.

Amazon, which has moved beyond its online retail roots to cloud computing, streaming media and artificial intelligence, said in mid-February it was leading a $700 million investment round in Rivian, a young self-driving auto technology firm.

The potential Tesla rival late last year unveiled an electric pickup truck and an electric sport utility vehicle at an auto show in Los Angeles.

Amazon has also invested in the autonomous driving tech firm Aurora Innovation, founded by former Google, Tesla and Uber executives, and it has deployed its own autonomous delivery robots.

While Amazon has not outlined any specific plans in the auto sector, it has invested heavily in logistics, with its own fleet of aircraft and vehicles to help speed its parcel deliveries.

It has also tested drone deliveries, and could use other kinds of autonomous vehicles as part of its logistics operations, as part of efforts to reduce the cost of "last mile" transport.

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