Amazon starts work with driverless delivery team in UK


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, it’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 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.”

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

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 which had already been squeezed by online competition from Amazon and others.

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, which will consist of dozens of engineers, is driven by our partnership with the Cambridge community and made possible by the talented people who live here.”