E-commerce retailer Amazon is reportedly in advanced discussions to purchase self-driving car start-up Zoox.

The Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the development who said that the two companies are discussing a deal expected to be worth an amount under $3.2bn.

An agreement is expected to be reached within weeks; however, the discussions may or may not materialise, the report noted.

The move, if finalised, would allow the e-commerce firm to expand presence in autonomous vehicle technology.

In an e-mailed statement to Forbes, Zoox was quoted as saying that ‘as a matter of policy, Zoox doesn’t comment on rumours or speculation.’ The e-commerce firm also declined to comment on the report.

Amazon has been investing in electric vehicles since last year.

In February last year, the online retailer joined the $530m funding round for self-driving car start-up Aurora Innovation.

It also placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Michigan-based start-up Rivian.

Founded in 2014, Zoox specialises in developing the hardware and software needed to create electric-powered robot taxis.

In January 2019, the company named Aicha Evans as its new CEO as part of its strategy to accelerate the work on launching a self-driving ride-hailing service.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, Zoox reduced its head count to deal with the crisis. It also grounded its fleet, reported Financial Times.