San Francisco is considering legislation that would ban sidewalk delivery robots

May 17, 2017

States across the country are passing laws to permit the use of autonomous delivery robotsstatewide. But in San Francisco, a city globally renowned for its tech-savvy residents, local politicians are now considering legislation that would ban the use of the nascent technology citywide.

San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee proposed the new legislation today, following efforts his office made earlier this year to look into regulations that would govern the use of autonomous delivery robots. Yee worries that the robots aren’t safe, saying that seniors, people with disabilities and children won’t be able move out of the way quickly enough as these machines roll down city sidewalks at walking speed (around four miles per hour).

Yee says his office has talked with various robot delivery companies, including Dispatch, Marble and Starship, but that his discussions with them weren’t convincing.

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