Amazon rolls out Scout delivery robots to 2 more cities
Source: Mintel 23-07-2020

International 23-07-2020

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E-commerce giant Amazon is rolling out its Scout automated delivery robots to Atlanta in Georgia and Franklin in Tennessee, as COVID-19 lockdown spurs demand for contactless delivery. Amazon has been testing its cooler-sized automated delivery robots in its hometown of Seattle since the start of 2019 and recently expanded trials to include South California.

The Scout delivery vehicles use cameras and ultrasonic sensors to detect and avoid obstacles.

Mintel comment:

“Amazon continues to innovate and its initiative to expand its Scout robot deliveries ties in with a trend that has been gaining strength as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to cope with the required safety measures while resuming activities and reopening stores, we are seeing many retailers resort to technology to ensure the safety of their customers and staff. Technology is equally supporting the increase in online activity.

Companies large and small are expanding their use of robotics to increase social distancing while reducing the number of staff required to physically come to work. Amazon had already reported the use of robots to disinfect warehouses and Whole Foods stores with UV lights and this week we saw the Co-op increase its use of robots for deliveries in specific regions of the UK. In Germany, fashion retailer Zalando trialled and implemented two robots to assist their warehouse staff with more physically demanding tasks. We analyse some of these initiatives in more detail in our upcoming report Online Retailing - Germany - July 2020.

Robots are also being used to perform roles workers cannot do at home, which ties in with Mintel Trend Who Needs Humans?, which discusses how automated technology is increasingly leading to machines replacing people. In fact, we expect this trend to continue to gain strength in the months to come.”