Sidewalk safety

San Francisco might ban delivery robots

A nascent technology brings safety concerns.

Sidewalk safety

Sidewalk safety

San Francisco might ban delivery robots

A nascent technology brings safety concerns.

The future is apparently now, at least when we’re talking about the fear that delivery robots will mow down seniors, children, and people with disabilities on the sidewalk.

According to Recode, San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee proposed legislation on Tuesday to ban small food delivery robots, which travel on wheels at about four miles per hour, from the city’s sidewalks. This would essentially shut down the possibility of using robots instead of human delivery workers.

“Our streets and our sidewalks are made for people, not robots,” Yee told Recode. “This is consistent with how we operate in the city, where we don’t allow bikes or skateboards on sidewalks.”

Rare Gratitude

Yee also cited concerns about the loss of human jobs, privacy issues given that the robots have cameras, and the possibility that the robots could be used for terrorism.

The robots have been tested in three neighborhoods in San Francisco as well as other states and in Europe. Companies hope robot deliveries will save money on labor, and allow on-demand businesses — apps that promise to deliver a range of instant services from fine dining to housecleaning — to stop failing all the time.

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