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The six-wheeled, cooler-sized autonomous delivery vehicles are now carrying some packages ordered by Amazon customers in Irvine, a city of 215,000 or so near Anaheim. The company said the vehicles roll at a walking pace and can navigate the obstacles it’s likely to find in a residential neighborhood.
Amazon is starting the Scout for deliveries made during daylight hours, Monday through Friday. The robots will be accompanied by Amazon employees for now.
This isn’t the Scout’s first time out in public. Amazon has been testing the robot in Snohomish County, Washington, since January.
There, the robots have made their way to customers' homes through rain and snow, all while engineers have updated them with new hardware and code, according to the company.
Amazon has worked to stay ahead of competitors with increasingly short shipping times. Earlier this year, the company announced that it added free one-day delivery of more than 10 million items for Prime members.
To that end, the company has increased the number of aircraft it uses in its Amazon Air network. It has offered to pay employees to quit and start their own delivery businesses as it seeks to move away from other large carriers.
The Scout isn't Amazon's only new delivery vehicle in development. In June, Amazon's Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke showed off a drone he said Amazon will use to deliver some small packages.