Now also in Pennsylvania: delivery robots may share sidewalks with humans9. March 2021
Now also in Pennsylvania: delivery robots may share sidewalks with humans
New York, 3/9/2021
A recent Pennsylvania law classifies autonomous bots as pedestrians. Similar robots are popping up across the country – from Modesto, California to the suburbs of Seattle – to deliver groceries and more while reducing traffic and carbon emissions. Pennsylvania law limits robots to a maximum speed of 12 mph in pedestrian areas and 25 mph on roadways; their payload cannot exceed 550 pounds.
At least 11 states, plus Washington, D.C., allow personal delivery robots to drive on sidewalks. The others include Virginia, Idaho, Florida and Wisconsin. While San Francisco banned most sidewalk robots in 2017, it made an exception for the Serve Postmates robot. Amazon’s Scout robot and FedEx’s Roxo are also being tested in various cities.
In 2019, the National Association of City Transportation Officials released its second “Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism,” which calls for a “comprehensive overhaul” of the way our streets are designed and shared; it says such bots “should be severely restricted, if not banned altogether.”