The Scotsman

Ama­zon scouts for au­ton­o­mous de­liv­ery

- By AU­GUST GRA­HAM Business · Tech · Amazon · United Kingdom · Seattle · Scotland

On­line gi­ant Ama­zon is set to hire dozens of en­gi­neers to de­velop au­ton­o­mous de­liv­er­ies in the UK after on­line shop­ping took off dur­ing lock­down.

The com­pany said it was es­tab­lish­ing a new team in Cam­bridge to fo­cus on Ama­zon Scout – the re­tailer’s small self-driven de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle.

The Scout rolls along the pave­ment at walk­ing pace, de­liv­er­ing to a cus­tomer’ s door. The com­pany said: “The team we’re build­ing in Cam­bridge will work closely with the Ama­zon Scout re­search lab in Seat­tle, US, to de­velop on-sys­tem soft ware to help Scout de­liver y de­vices safely and au­tonomously nav­i­gate around pedes­tri­ans, pets, and ob­sta­cles found in res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods such as re­cy­cling bins and sign posts.”

The news comes a week after Ama­zon said it would cre­ate 7,000 more jobs this year alone, tak­ing its per­ma­nent work­force in the UK to more than 40,000 peo­ple.

More than 300 of those per­ma­nent jobs will be cre­ated in Scot­land as well as more than 2,000 sea­sonal po­si­tions.

Thou­sands of jobs have been lost from the UK’S high streets since the Covid-19 lock­down started in March.

The cri­sis struck a sec­tor that had al­ready been squeezed by on­line com­pe­ti­tion.

The mas­sive loss of jobs has only been some­what off­set by ex­tra hir­ing from the de­liv­ery com­pa­nies.

Ama­zon added :“Our in­vest­ment in this new Ama­zon Scout team in the UK is made pos­si­ble by the tal­ented peo­ple who live here.”

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