Waymo and others are working on delivering self driving cars and they are getting really close to making them everyday reality, passing the trial phase. Having self driving cars proved a very complex endeavour, balancing safety with acceptable speed under economic constraints but now we are getting there (the economics is not fully in place, real mass market affordability would probably require ten more years and regulation hurdles probably a bit more).
A different story is self driving vehicles that can be used to deliver goods in urban environment. At first glance it might seem easier to create this type of robots, since they would have to move at much lower speed, hence lower safety concerns. In practice, this is proving quite challenging because the sidewalk environment is way less structured than roads and there are more potential hurdles to pay attention to (kids running out of a garden, dogs strolling around, steps that need to be overcome…).
They have developed Scout in their research lab and six of them will start roaming Snohomish County urban area to deliver packages to some of their prime customers, Monday to Friday. For now delivery will take place during daylight hours only and in the first phase of the trial Scout will be chaperoned by an Amazon attendant making sure everything goes smoothly and taking note of issues that may be arise (see clip).
So far it is clearly way more expensive than delivering packages using Fedex or other delivery services but the goal is to make autonomous delivery, at least in certain areas, more efficient by using robots, both on wheels, as Scout, or using propellers (drones).
We can expect to see the shift from trials to real commercial services later in the next decade (yes, service may start earlier, but a real transformation of delivery will take much more time).