Amazon Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) has invested in hot autonomous driving start-up Aurora in a move that could help the e-commerce giant with its logistics and delivery efforts in the future. Shares of Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) , which is working on its own autonomous driving technology, appeared to fall on the news, which was reported on Thursday morning.
Aurora was valued at about $2 billion in its latest funding round that raised more than $530 million, less than two years after the company was founded in 2017 by veterans of the self-driving vehicle industry.
"Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it's in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we're excited about the possibilities," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement provided to Wired.
Tesla shares were down 3.06% to $307.51 on Thursday, while Amazon shares were falling 1.58% amid a broader market decline that saw the Nasdaq fall 1.18%. Aurora's CEO helped launch the driverless car project at Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Google that became Waymo, while its chief product officer developed Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance technology.
This isn't Action Alert PLUS holding Amazon's first foray into the self-driving space. In 2018 Amazon was a partner on Toyota's e-Palette concept project. Amazon also has a small team focused on driverless tech, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Autonomous vehicles could have a positive effect on Amazon's massive delivery costs, which totaled $27.7 billion last year. Last month, the company reportedly started working with robo-trucking startup Embark.
"This is a great amount of capital for us to build from for a while," said Aurora Chief Executive Chris Urmson.
Sequoia Capital led Aurora's latest funding round and Sequoia partner Carl Eschenbach will join the company's board.