Over the last few months, Amazon Scout has delivered thousands of smiles to customers just outside of Amazon’s headquarters in Washington state. All the while, the devices have safely and autonomously navigated the many obstacles you find in residential neighborhoods—trashcans, skateboards, lawn chairs, the occasional snow blower, and more. Scout has even made a handful of furry neighborhood friends, like Winter the cat and the excitable Irish terrier Mickey.
We’re constantly thinking through how our Scout devices will integrate into the neighborhood and delight customers. 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.
To kick-start our journey, we created dedicated hardware and software labs in Seattle. These labs give engineers, scientists, and our operations staff the opportunity to quickly build and test the delivery devices. We don’t need to wait on external parts or software updates; we can rapidly prototype hardware components and write new code, and are able to validate our efforts in real-time.
While in the Pacific Northwest, Scout has experienced all of the region’s weather—from the expected rain shower, to the infrequent sun, and even the biggest snowstorm the area’s seen in the last decade. It’s now time for Scout to experience a little more sunshine. I’m thrilled to report that, starting today, Scout will begin to deliver packages to customers in Southern California.
We’ll start with a small number of Amazon Scout devices, delivering Monday through Friday, during daylight hours. Customers in the Irvine area will order just as they normally would and their Amazon packages will be delivered either by one of our trusted carrier partners or by Amazon Scout. The same delivery options are available via Scout including fast, FREE Same-Day, One-Day and Two-Day shipping for Prime members. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route, and initially be accompanied by an Amazon Scout Ambassador.
One of our favorite parts of this journey so far has been witnessing how excited customers are when they see the delivery device for the first time and how they’ve welcomed Scout into their neighborhood. In the span of a week, our Ambassadors witnessed a child ask her dad for a Scout for Christmas, and another customer ask if he could hitch his two dachshunds to Scout and use it as a dog walker. While the intent of our "adora-bots" is and will remain delivery, we couldn’t help but chuckle at these reactions. We have a lot of pride packed inside these cooler-sized devices and love to see such a positive reaction from the community.
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. The future is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited.