Amazon has put delivery robots to work during the pandemic and is now expanding its fleet to cities in the South.
The online retail giant said Tuesday that it's bringing its Amazon Scout autonomous delivery system to Atlanta, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee this week. The news comes after a year-long test run in other locales.
The cooler-sized rovers help to cut down on human-to-human contact during the nation's current coronavirus crisis. The vice president of Amazon Scout, Sean Scott, said in a blog post that the service helped the company meet increasing customer demand during the pandemic.
"Amazon Scout is quietly playing its part in this effort," Scott said.
In January 2019, Amazon launched Scout, an electric robot carrier, in the Seattle region. The company then extended the rollout to Irvine, California in August. The small vehicle can navigate around pets, pedestrians and other objects on the sidewalk as it rolls to deliver your goods.
"Adding Atlanta and Franklin to our existing operations gives Scout devices the opportunity to operate in varied neighborhoods with different climates than they operate in today," Scott said.
Amazon hasn't said how many robots are being used or how many customers are being served by them. However, the devices are built to travel at a walking pace and will be accompanied by someone from the company to start.
Scout will operate during daylight hours, Monday through Friday and the robot-carrier option is available only to Prime Members who choose Same-Day, One-Day, and Two-Day delivery.