Amazon has begun using its Scout robot to offer autonomous delivery to customers in southern California.
A small number of the cooler-sized robots will begin delivering from today (7 August) in Irvine, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, in daylight hours from Monday to Friday.
They will follow pre-set delivery routes while accompanied by an Amazon employee. They travel at a walking pace, with the ability to avoid obstacles in their path.
Amazon developed Scout at its R&D lab in Seattle, including both the hardware and the software that operates it.
Customers in the area order as they normally would via the site or app and can choose from the same delivery options including same-day, one-day and two-day shipping for Prime members.
In January Amazon introduced six Amazon Scout robots in Snohomish County in the state of Washington. At the initial phase of the trial they will be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
“We’re still in field test mode and our expansion to the Irvine area is just another in the many steps forward for this new delivery system,” Sean Scott, VP of Amazon Scout, wrote in a blog. “The future is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited.”