Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re proud in a grumpy sort of way about our aversion to California imports, mainly as that relates to people who can’t resist (what used to be) cheaper real estate and less crowded freeways.
Amazon has surely attracted its fare share of transplants with all those tech jobs in Seattle. And now its returning the favor by sending something south — but it’s not human.
Several months after rolling out a six-wheeled, cooler-sized package delivery robot named Scout to a test area north of Seattle, Amazon is ready to send the little blue bot on a greater journey, to Southern California.
Scout started making deliveries this week in the Irvine area, 40 miles south of Los Angeles, according to a blog post by Sean Scott, Amazon’s vice president of Scout, who no doubt goes by Sean Scout now.
“While in the Pacific Northwest, Scout has experienced all of the region’s weather — from the expected rain shower, to the infrequent sun, and even the biggest snowstorm the area’s seen in the last decade,” Scott wrote. “It’s now time for Scout to experience a little more sunshine.”
Amazon says the same delivery options are available via Scout as with any order, including same-day, one-day and two-day shipping for Prime members. The robots, developed at an Amazon lab in Seattle, autonomously follow their delivery route, and for now are accompanied by an Amazon Scout Ambassador.
Those ambassadors have reportedly witnessed joy on the faces of kids and pets when they catch sight of Scout for the first time.
Drivers on Southern California’s notoriously clogged roadways likely won’t bat an eye at another vehicle — however small and cute — added to the mix. But it feels like Prime time for an update to California’s long list of songs that celebrate its car culture …
“Rollin’ down the street, shippin’ on gin and juice …”