Delivery Robots Get Legal Status in Washington, D.C.
"The D.C. Council has passed legislation to permit the large-scale deployment of delivery robots across the city," reports Sara Gilgore.
According to Gilgore, the law was drafted by and for Starship Technologies, a company that has piloted the robots in D.C. since 2016.
The law removes geographic limitations, meaning Starship could seek permits to operate beyond just four ZIP codes, and enter the previously restricted central business district. It would also allow the company to have more than five robots on the streets at a time (which, as those of us familiar know, could mean more barking dogs and curious pedestrians who encounter them).
Expect to see more delivery robots on the streets and sidewalks of D.C. starting this fall. The company partners with DoorDash and Postmates, and also operated in Virginia, Idaho Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Utah, and several cities in California. Delivery robots are coming soon to Arizona too.
The expansion of Starship's service comes despite reports of drivers striking delivery robots with cars, as detailed in an article by Jeff Clabaugh from February 2018.
Hat tip to Chris Teale for sharing the news.