Amazon Scout Driverless Delivery Machines Get to Work in California

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【Summary】Irvine, California becomes the second location where Amazon’s autonomous Scout robots are delivering packages to customers.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Aug 17, 2019 6:00 AM PT
Amazon Scout Driverless Delivery Machines Get to Work in California

Companies working on autonomous machines and experts that are well versed in the industry all claim that delivery vehicles will be the first set of self-driving cars on the road. Whether it's delivering packages, groceries, or humans from one point to another, autonomous delivery machines are coming first. Amazon's autonomous delivery robots, called the Scout, have just started to deliver packages to customers in its second location in California.

More Testing Is Underway
Amazon has been testing its autonomous delivery machines for a couple of months by its headquarters in Snohomish County, Washington, but has decided to expand to a second location – Irvine, California. Not only is it a second location for Amazon's Scouts, but the new area is also larger and should test the machines true capabilities.
As the company outlines in a blog post, deliveries in California will start off slowly. Only a small number of Amazon Scout machines will deliver packages from Monday through Friday during what Amazon calls "daylight hours." Each robot will be accompanied by an Amazon Scout Ambassador for the time being. Random orders will be delivered with a Scout, as Amazon isn't offering a delivery option that specifically puts its autonomous machine to work yet.
The Amazon Scout Ambassadors are more than just babysitters for the machines. Instead, they're more along the lines of observers that are there to answer any questions customers may have about the machine. They'll be take notes on how customers react to the machines, as well.

Are The Autonomous Delivery Machines Ready?
Amazon's done quite a lot of testing with the Scout in its home state of Washington. There, the company claims the machines have navigated all sorts of obstacles that are found in residential areas, including lawn chairs, skateboards, and trashcans. The autonomous delivery machines have also dealt with all sorts of different weather. A lot of testing, though, was also done in simulation.
The Scout is an autonomous robot with six wheels that's roughly the same size as a recycling bin. It's battery powered and moves at roughly a human's walking pace. It's hard to miss the machines, as they're finished in bright blue and have "Amazon" plastered on the side.
Little autonomous machines aren't the only thing Amazon has introduced to get customers ready for the future. The giant recently introduced Key by Amazon that allows customers to get packages delivered to their car, provided they have one that meets its requirements. The company has also stated that drones could be a part of its future, as it would use those for its Amazon Prime Air service.

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