Amazon wants customers to meet "Scout."
Amazon Scout is the name of Amazon's newest delivery test program, announced Wednesday, which uses wheeled autonomous vehicles that are about the size of a drink cooler and are meant to travel on sidewalks to customers' homes at a walking pace.
The electric robotic vehicle was developed in-house by Amazon's research-and-development lab, the head of the project, Sean Scott, said in a blog post. The vehicle can navigate around anything in its way, including pets and pedestrians, Scott wrote.
The first test has begun with six robots in Washington state's Snohomish County, just north of Amazon's Seattle headquarters.
Customers in the test area who order on Amazon, including for same-day, one-day, or two-day shipping, are eligible to have Scout robots arrive at their doorstep.
Amazon said it would wait for the results of its test before considering expanding it to other locations.
Amazon employees are expected to accompany the robots on deliveries at first, with the devices meant to eventually make their way to customers' homes autonomously.
Amazon Scout notably beats Amazon's Prime Air drone-based delivery project to reality. That project was announced in 2013 but has not begun a full-scale test.
It also follows Amazon's other delivery initiatives, including expanding its fleet of Amazon Logistics drivers and delivering inside a customer's car, garage, or home.
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