Seen any 6-wheel delivery robots trekking about Snohomish County or Irvine, California? That’s Scout, Amazon’s fully-electric delivery system designed to distribute packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices.
The system was officially launched in January of 2019. From surfboards, to luggage, to refrigerators, and even Christmas trees waiting to be picked up for recycling—the autonomous devices have navigated around a multiplicity of objects on the sidewalk, as curious bystanders peer through windows at the small cooler-sized bots.
And apparently Scout has passed its initial field tests, because now, it’s heading south.
At a relaxed walking pace, Scout will now begin treks to select customers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Franklin, Tennessee.
The delivering bots can navigate around pets and pedestrians, utilizing camera and sensor data for route planning, navigation, and to improve service.
Amazon Scout has continued to operate during the pandemic and helped us meet increased customer demand by supplementing our transportation network,” Amazon released in a statement. “One of the things I’m most proud of is that these devices have brought small moments of joy for communities staying at home. Seeing our adora-bots roll past, children have shared thank you cards with the Amazon Scout Ambassadors who accompany our devices.
Amazon has launched with a small number of Amazon Scout devices in each city, delivering Monday through Friday during daylight hours.
Customers in participating locations place their orders just the same, and can anticipate delivery via Amazon’s carrier partners or by Amazon Scout alongside the same delivery options of same-day, 1-day, and 2-day shipping for Prime members.
According to Amazon, the devices will autonomously follow their delivery route, and initially be accompanied by an Amazon Scout Ambassador.
“We're thrilled to bring Amazon Scout to two new communities,” Amazon said. “Adding Atlanta and Franklin to our existing operations gives Scout devices the opportunity to operate in varied neighborhoods with different climates than they operate in today.”
Alongside the new environments, Amazon also already boasts a significant presence in these cities alongside its corporate offices and logistics facilities.
“Expanding our field test to Atlanta and Franklin is one of the many steps forward for this new delivery system and on our path to net zero carbon by 2040,” Amazon released in its statement. “During a time when so many of our customers rely on us to get what they need, bringing Scout to these new locations supplements our transportation network and increases our capacity to deliverScout is excited to meet you in the Peach and Volunteer States!”