If you’ve taken the time to poke around Amazon’s online store — South Africans are much more likely to do this in 2024 — you’ll know there are all sorts of things you can buy. Missing from the list of oddities, at least so far, has been a full-on motor vehicle. Yeah, that’s changing.
Don’t get too excited, though. South Africa doesn’t even have a local Amazon outlet (yet). We won’t be on the list for vehicle purchases until other countries have it right. The online retailer and Hyundai have created a new partnership that will see the Korean automaker using AWS for its cloud services. Oh, and Americans can buy Hyundai cars from Amazon next year.
Driving through the Amazon
The deal isn’t an exclusive one. Compulsive shoppers will eventually be tempted by multiple vehicle brands on the online store but Hyundai will be the first. Purchases will work in a similar manner to going to a dealership — vehicles will be listed based on their proximity to buyers. It does nobody any good to buy a car on the other side of the country unless free shipping is included (spoiler: it’s probably not). Once buyers have selected the vehicle they want, along with the trim and any extras, they can pay for it using the same mechanism folks use to buy toilet paper and Game of Thrones colouring books.
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The vehicle is then either collected (by the new owner, naturally) or also collected but at the dealership you had your new ride delivered to. Hyundai will be the first to offer this and it’ll all take place in the States, naturally. The move will also see Hyundai vehicles in the US shipping with Alexa support but it also opens up an interesting possibility.
See, Hyundai is also the owner of Boston Dynamics, makers of Atlas and Spot. It’s possible, but far from confirmed, that this deal could open the door to more widespread distribution of robots that make life incredibly interesting but also more than a little creepy.