Amazon has announced a new investment to expand research and development of autonomous delivery technology in the UK with the creation of a new team at its Cambridge development centre.
The team will be focused on Amazon Scout, the company’s fully-electric autonomous delivery service.
Amazon Scout devices are the size of a small box and roll along pavements at a walking pace. The service is in field test mode, currently delivering packages to customers in four states in the USA, but will continue to expand to more customers.
The new Amazon Scout team in the UK will reportedly consist of dozens of software development engineers.
“The team we’re building in Cambridge will work closely with the Amazon Scout research lab in Seattle to develop on-system software to help Scout delivery devices safely and autonomously navigate around pedestrians, pets, and obstacles found in residential neighbourhoods such as recycling bins and sign posts,” said Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout.
The creation of the team in Cambridge follows on from Amazon’s announcement last week that it is creating 10,000 new permanent roles across the UK in 2020, taking the company’s total permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000.
“We have already added 3,000 new permanent roles to our workforce across our UK network of fulfilment centres, sort centres and delivery stations – including at a new hi-tech fulfilment centre in the North East of England, which opened in May 2020,” added Scott.
“We will add a further 7,000 new permanent roles by the end of 2020 across more than 50 sites, including corporate offices and two new fulfilment centres launching in the autumn in the North East and in the Midlands.”