Britons could soon see their Amazon parcels delivered by a small self-driven vehicle.
The online giant is hiring a team of engineers to develop its Amazon Scout vehicles for use in the UK after online shopping took off during lockdown.
The Scout rolls along the pavement at walking pace before delivering to a customer’s door.
It has been developed with a camera and sensor to help it navigate around pedestrians, pets and obstacles such as bins and sign posts.
The technology is already being tested out in small areas in the States, including the area just outside Amazon’s headquarters in Washington state.
Engineers in the UK will be working with the Amazon Scout research lab in Seattle to develop the software.
“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,” the company said.
Last week, Amazon said it would create 7,000 jobs by the end of the year, taking its permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000 people.
But thousands of jobs have been lost in the retail sector since March, as non-essential shops were forced to close during lockdown and many turned to online shopping.