Amazon Home Delivery Robots Latest Victims of Cost Cuts

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In an ongoing effort to curtail costs, Amazon is pulling the plug on the recent testing phase of its autonomous home delivery robots.

Scout, Amazon’s self-driving delivery robot that rolled out in 2019, is no longer in operation, Bloomberg reported on Friday (Oct. 7) citing unnamed sources with insider information.

The Amazon employees working on Scout are being offered new jobs, Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll said, according to Bloomberg. There are roughly 400 employees working on Scout throughout the world, the sources told Bloomberg.

See also: Amazon Beefs Up Robotics Capabilities, Looks to Strengthen European Foothold

“During our Scout limited field test, 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,” Carroll said.

“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,” Carroll said, per the report.

Read more: Amazon Launches $1B Robotics, Logistics Fund

Scout was initially trialed in suburban areas outside of Seattle, Washington before expanding to pilots in California, Georgia and Tennessee. The battery-powered robots alerted customers before arriving at their doors with pre-ordered goods.

Amazon’s Scout project was launched as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its delivery operations.

Related: Report: Amazon Shuts, Delays Some Facilities as eCommerce Growth Slows

Amazon is also reeling in the number of warehouses it has in operation after doubling space in the past two years, PYMNTS reported last month.

As eCommerce growth has leveled amid rising inflation and people’s return to physical stores, Amazon has closed warehouses or canceled the openings of 66 facilities. While closures are taking place, capital is being infused into the technology used inside its warehouses for order fulfillment.

Additional cost-cutting measures Amazon is employing include cancellation of its video-based communications product for kids, Glow; winding down its telehealth service Amazon Care; and a hiring freeze for corporate retail teams, Bloomberg reported.