Amazon Halts Tests of Scout Home-Delivery Robots

The team behind the Scout program is being disbanded and reassigned to new jobs, according to Bloomberg.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
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Bree Fowler

Amazon is officially pulling the plug on its Scout home-delivery robots.


Amazon has halted testing of its Scout home-delivery robots as it cuts costs in the wake of slowing sales, according to a Bloomberg report

Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll told Bloomberg that the team working on its Scout robots was being disbanded and would be offered new jobs at Amazon. Citing a "person familiar with the situation," Bloomberg reported that work on the project had already been halted.

About 400 people were working on the project globally, Bloomberg's source says.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amazon started testing the cooler-shaped autonomous vehicles about three years ago in suburban Seattle, eventually expanding the program to places like Irvine, California; Atlanta; and Franklin, Tennessee.

Carroll told Bloomberg that during testing the company learned through customer feedback that "there were aspects of the program that weren't meeting customer needs." As a result, the company is ending its tests and retooling the program, she said.

Under CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon is adjusting to slowing retail sales, delaying some investments and ending others. Amazon also said earlier this week that it would discontinue Amazon Glow, an interactive video-chat device focused on helping kids and loved ones play together via the internet amid the pandemic.

The company has also frozen hiring for its corporate retail teams and is winding down Amazon Care, its telemedicine program, Bloomberg said.