(Pocket-lint) – Amazon is setting up a new team to develop Amazon Scout in Cambridge, UK as it looks to roll out its autonomous delivery robot further.
Amazon Scout has been making deliveries in four US states so far. But the move to develop Amazon Scout in the UK is an interesting one because it clearly signals the ambition to bring it to other countries in the near future.
The Cambridge-based Scout team will be based at its existing Development Centre and Amazon is hiring software development engineers. Amazon says this will enable it to further develop Scout’s capabilities so it can safely negotiate around pets, pedestrians and other obstacles like bins and signs. Obviously these can be quite different depending on the country involved.
The Cambridge Development Centre already works on some autonomous technologies – researching Prime Air drone technology, for example – as well as adding intelligence for Alexa.
Scouts autonomously follow a delivery route. Making deliveries in wide US streets is one thing, but it’s quite another to make autonomous deliveries in smaller streets in the UK and Europe.
The retail giant clearly sees autonomous delivery as a long-term solution to the expense of the ‘last mile’ of delivery – the final leg of delivering an item to your home is the most expensive to fulfil.
Writing by Dan Grabham.