Web store Amazon will use small self-driving vehicles to deliver packages, initially as a test in a neighborhood in the US state of Washington. During the test, a delivery person is always present to check whether everything is going well.
The self-propelled robot moves along the pavement at the speed of a walker using an electric motor. He stops at customers’ doors, after which they can unpack the packages, according to a video that Amazon has put online. The web store starts with six such robots named Scout.
Scout can drive autonomously on the sidewalk, but there will always be an Amazon delivery person on the vehicle’s rides. The delivery via Scout is for the time being a test and only happens during the day, when it is light. Amazon will not disclose technical details of the self-driving system. The test is taking place in an unnamed town in Snohomisch County, an area just north of Seattle. Amazon has its headquarters there.
Amazon is not disclosing plans on how widely it plans to deploy Scout for delivery. It is one of the webshop’s many initiatives to automate delivery. The American company is experimenting with drones, among other things.