Amazon is pulling its Scout delivery robot from the sidewalks. The project did not meet customer needs.
Le robot Scout d’Amazon, a small machine that looks like a cooler on wheels and can roam the sidewalks, will no longer deliver packages to anyone. The e-commerce giant ended the field test program for its experimental machine and made the decision to “redirect” the project.
Amazon pulls its Scout delivery robot from the sidewalks
According Bloomberg, the Scout team was disbanded and most of its 400 members were reassigned to other positions within the company. Amazon spokeswoman Alisa Carroll told Reuters that the company was not completely abandoning the project. A very small team will continue to consider using an autonomous robot for deliveries, and that may or may not spell the end for the Scout robot.
Alisa Carroll said the following:
During our limited field testing of Scout, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but we got a lot of feedback that some aspects of the program weren’t meeting customer needs. As a result, we are ending our field testing and reorienting the program. We work with employees during this transition, finding them new positions that best match their experience and skills.
The project did not meet customer needs
Amazon began testing Scout in 2019 and initially deployed six robots to deliver packages in North Seattle. The machines could autonomously follow a delivery route and, although the robot was accompanied by a human employee for testing, it could stop in front of a customer’s door and open his trunk to allow him to collect his package. After the initial rollout, Amazon had expanded testing to Southern California, Atlanta, Georgia, and Franklin, Tennessee.
Although Alisa Carroll did not specify exactly which aspects of the program “did not meet customer needs”, this is yet another decision indicating that the American giant is scaling back its experimental projects. A few days ago, we learned that it had also discontinued its Glow device for children’s videoconferencing, probably due to a lack of sales.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.