Proponents say delivery robots relieve congestion and reduce accidents on city roads.
But some pedestrians in San Francisco have complained that they crowd sidewalks and present a hazard to humans.
Autonomous delivery robots began toting food to waiting customers in San Francisco earlier this year after a company called Marble partnered with Yelp Eat 24 to test its flagship delivery bot.
The Marble/Yelp trial was confined to select San Francisco neighborhoods.
“I resolutely believe that our sidewalks should be prioritized for humans,” he told the San Francisco Examiner.
San Francisco restricts the use of delivery robots on its sidewalks
Complaints were first brought by a group called Walk San Francisco, which campaigns for the safety of pedestrians.
The group was concerned that these autonomous robots, which use lasers and sensors to navigate, would pose a hazard to the elderly and young children on the city’s crowded sidewalks.
After all, San Francisco is known as a tech-forward city, with its proximity to Silicon Valley.
Still, it’s one of the first places that delivery robots first began operating, so it’s a little surprising that the city would make moves to restrict them so drastically.
It’s a challenge for companies like Marble, which have been operating as a test in San Francisco’s Mission and Potrero Hill districts (with human handles to help).
San Francisco to restrict goods delivery robots
referring to Image copyright Marble Image caption The Marble robot is being tested in San Francisco but currently has a member of staff walking behind it San Francisco officials have voted to restrict where delivery robots can go in the city, in a blow for the burgeoning industry.
Robotics company Marble – which describes its machines as “friendly, neighbourhood robots” – began testing in San Francisco earlier this year.
San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee, who originally proposed a ban on such robots, has previously said that the city’s streets “are for people, not robots”.
Despite its proximity to Silicon Valley, San Francisco is falling behind other states such as Virginia and Idaho where there are already laws permitting delivery robots to operate.
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce lobbied against an all-out ban of such robots, saying that “could create a massive barrier to future innovation in the industry”.
collected by :Molly Tony