- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh will soon present legislation to allow self-driving delivery robots to operate on city sidewalks, according to a Fox 5 report.

Ms. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat and chair of the Transportation Committee, said she is excited about the possibility of delivery robots in the District because it would be more environmentally friendly than the cars that normally make deliveries, Fox 5 reported.

Starship Enterprises, which was started by the former founders of Skype, chose the District as the first city to test its delivery robots and is hoping to get local lawmakers on board.



Users place an order on their cellphones and the deliver robots make their way to the address. Their progress can be tracked until the delivery is made. When the food arrives, users employ a cellphone app to open the robot and retrieve their groceries, subs or pizzas.

The robots would need to share sidewalks with pedestrians, and only Segways and electric wheelchairs are allowed on public walkways. That means the D.C. Council will have to amend the law.

 

• Ryan M. McDermott can be reached at rmcdermott@washingtontimes.com.

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