The announcement comes after the Amazon Scout has already made thousands of deliveries to customers just outside of the company's headquarters in Washington state. During this time, says the company, the delivery robots have done so while also safely and autonomously navigating the many obstacles found in residential neighborhoods — trashcans, skateboards, lawn chairs, the occasional snow blower, and more - and experiencing various weather conditions.
"We’re constantly thinking through how our Scout devices will integrate into the neighborhood and delight customers," says Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout. "It’s the reason we developed Scout from the ground-up with safety and convenience in mind. From the design of the robotic hardware to the development of the back-end tech that operates the device."
The next phase, says the company, will start with a small number of Amazon Scout devices, delivering Monday through Friday, during daylight hours in the Irvine area. Customers there will order just as they normally would and their Amazon packages will be delivered either by one of the company's carrier partners or by Amazon Scout.
The usual delivery options are available via Scout - including fast, FREE Same-Day, One-Day and Two-Day shipping for Prime members - and the devices will autonomously follow their delivery route, and initially be accompanied by a human "Amazon Scout Ambassador."
"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," says Scott. "The future is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited."