Amazon is ending its field tests of autonomous delivery robot Scout. The company is "reorienting the program" after certain aspects failed to meet customer needs, according to a spokesperson.
Scout's first tests involved making deliveries in a Washington state neighborhood in January 2019. Testing for the cooler-sized, sidewalk-roaming robot later expanded to Atlanta, Georgia; Irvine, California; and Franklin, Tennessee.
Customers ordered items as they normally would, and their packages were either delivered by Scout — dispatched from rented space at local businesses — or an Amazon partner carrier.
The bot's development "is an ongoing collaboration with customers, who are helping us refine various aspects of the service," according to a June post on Amazon’s website.
“During our limited field test for Scout, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but learned through feedback that there were aspects of the program that weren’t meeting customers’ needs," Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll said in a statement to Supply Chain Dive. "As a result, we are ending our field tests and reorienting the program. We are working with employees during this transition, matching them to open roles that best fit their experience and skills.”
About 400 people were working on Scout globally, according to Bloomberg, which first reported on the field tests ending.