The world’s largest market continues to scale back its more experimental programs amid slowing sales growth.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced this week that it has stopped testing its Scout home delivery robot and is offering new positions to the 400 people who worked on the project. Amazon began testing Scout in 2019, but customer feedback showed it fell short of expectations.

“During our limited field test of Scout, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but we learned from feedback that there were aspects of the program that did not meet customer needs,” Amazon spokeswoman Alice Carroll told media. . “As a result, we are ending field testing and refocusing the program. During this transition, we are working with employees to match them with open roles that best match their experience and skills.”

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Scout did his thing debut on the sidewalks of Seattle in 2019. Since then, the cooler-sized robot has appeared in Georgia, Tennessee and Southern California, delivering packages to customers’ doorsteps in an interior compartment. The bots were accompanied by human “ambassadors” who could intervene if something went wrong.

Amazon posted an optimistic blog post update about Scout just four months ago. But between then and now, the decision was made to significantly reduce the program.

However, the e-commerce giant is not completely abandoning the idea of ​​an autonomous robot. Carroll said the core team will continue to learn the technology, although the vast majority of workers will be redeployed to other programs.

Notably, Sean Scott, the former vice president who oversaw the program, left Amazon about a year ago, according to his LinkedIn page. Also, Aleksandar Kojic, Scout’s director of autonomous robotics, left in July.

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Scout’s cancellation is the latest in a series of cost-cutting maneuvers for Amazon that has survived slowing sales growth in 2022. This year the company has closed, canceled or postponed opening more than 60 warehouses in the US alone.

And earlier this week he implemented a corporate hiring freeze in its retail business, including several technology positions.

However, the firm feels confident enough to manage a second sale similar to Prime Day Next week. The Prime Early Access event will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in 15 countries. This is Amazon’s first attempt at two such sales in one year, and analysts will likely wait for the event to gauge the company’s strength at the end of the fiscal year.

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