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Policymakers Should Make Room for Sidewalk Delivery Robots

Technologies are rapidly evolving, creating new opportunities for innovation—sidewalk delivery robots are no exception.

As Daniel Castro writes in Government Technologythe laws and regulations for such technologies have not kept pace with their emergence in the United States. Many policymakers have done nothing as these new technologies arise. On the other end of the spectrum, some policymakers are banning delivery robots in their entirety. Somewhere in the middle, cities have put limited rules in place for delivery robots, based on weight limits, liability insurance, and even speed. This is not the case in every city though as some states are welcoming the arrival of delivery robots on their streets and sidewalks. Because of COVID-19, the use of delivery services has surged. The high demand of service would likely allow delivery robot usage to rise.

And while the use of delivery robots does not come without concerns, automation is an important part of innovation. If policymakers care about jobs, automation should be welcomed.

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