The online retail giant has developed a new, fully-electric delivery system – Amazon Scout – designed to get packages to customers in the US using autonomous delivery devices.
The devices, created by Amazon, are the size of a small cool box, and roll along pavements at a walking pace. Last week they began delivering packages to customers in a neighbourhood in Snohomish County, Washington.
The company is starting with six Amazon Scout devices, delivering packages Monday to Friday, during daylight hours. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but will initially be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
Scout was developed at Amazon’s research and development lab in Seattle, in order to make sure the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and any other obstacle in their path.
Amazon Scout vice president Sean Scott said: “We are happy to welcome Amazon Scout to our growing suite of innovative delivery solutions for customers and look forward to taking the learnings from this first neighbourhood, so Amazon Scout can, over time, provide even more sustainability and convenience to customer deliveries.”
Snohomish County executive Dave Somers added: “We are delighted to welcome Amazon Scout into our community. Similar to Amazon, we are always looking for new ways to better deliver service to our residents. From the latest Amazon innovation to cutting edge technology, Snohomish County is a great place for entrepreneurial creativity.”
Other delivery solutions Amazon is testing, include autonomous drones, dubbed Prime Air, which are already being tested in the UK.