Why Amazon Will Launch Self-Driving Car Effort

Developments in self-driving car technology will be a big theme in tech in 2017, including at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One company to watch is Amazon.com, which is likely to jump into the field this year by unveiling an effort to develop autonomous truck software.

Amazon isn’t trying to go up against other companies in developing a self-driving car service, or selling self-driving cars to individuals. Instead, it’s likely to use the new technology to help automate delivery of goods to people’s homes and businesses. Amazon is already testing drones that carry packages, speeding up delivery times and cutting costs by avoiding roads. Amazon could pair self-driving trucks with drones or ground robots to complete the job.

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Apple, meanwhile, announced in July that it would partner with GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals on a study to track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Apple will participate through its open source platforms for medical research data, ResearchKit and CareKit. It’s a move toward adding a health care function to Apple products that could make them indispensable to patients and physicians alike.—Maria DeFelice

Sean Everett commented on this article.
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