Amazon’s backslide on its plans to build a delivery robot, Scout, but insists the project isn’t complete yet.
Bloomberg first reported that the company has stop testing the machine, and that the Scout team, which has approximately 400 employees worldwide, will be dissolved. However, an Amazon spokesperson, Alisa Carroll, said: The edge that the company”not abandon the Scout program completely: “We are scaling back the program and still have a team dedicated to Scout.”
“There were aspects of the program that did not meet the needs of the customers”
“During our Scout field test, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but through feedback we learned that there were aspects of the program that did not meet customer needs,” said Carroll. The edge. “As a result, we are ending our field testing and refocusing the program. We work with employees during this transition and match them with vacancies that best match their experience and skills.”
In most cases, the robots are supposed to handle “last mile” deliveries, i.e. bring packages from local distribution centers to the customer’s doorstep. However, as Amazon’s failure with Scout suggests, it’s not certain that the economics of this technology make sense. Although the robots are nominally autonomous, they often need to be monitored remotely, especially when they find themselves in unexpected situations. They are also slow, moving no faster than walking pace, giving them little advantage over traditional couriers.
It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, survives this cull. The project was announced in 2016, but in recent years there have been numerous reports of mismanagement, unrealistic expectations and high staff turnover within the team. Scout has lost his way. Could Prime Air Crash Next Time?