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Food Delivery Robot Concerns

Message 51 of 51

By Carissa Chesanek, Contributing Editor
According to Eater.com, San Francisco is not necessarily happy with the latest food tech in the city. Delivery robots have been on the rise here but there are major concerns that many residents are facing. 
Eater.com states two major issues have been causing a stir with these robots. One being the overall safety issue. These small devices zip around people on the sidewalk at impressive speeds and can cause injury or accidents. The second big issue here is how these robots are taking jobs away from actual human beings. 
However, one of the major robot companies, Starship Technologies (who currently operates in London) states the cities they operate in are only getting “positive feedback"


From link 

Sidewalk safety and jobs are the top concerns
America, it seems, is not ready for the inevitable robot takeover. Some cities, such as D.C. and San Francisco, are already host to small carrier bots that keep food hot (or cool) while transporting it to its destination. But San Francisco, one of the most tech-forward cities in the world, is trying to slam the breaks on food delivery robots.
Norman Yee, a long-time San Francisco supervisor, proposed new legislation this week that would ban autonomous robots from city streets, Recode reports. Yee believes the bots could take jobs away from citizens. He also says the small unmanned bots move too quickly and therefore could be safety risks for children, people with disabilities, and seniors because they wouldn’t be able to move out of the robot’s way fast enough.
“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.” When asked if he thought the bots could safely run in a bike lane, Yee agreed it was something to think about. “Maybe in the future there will be robot lanes,” he told SFGate.
All of the bots currently on the market — including those made by two SF-based companies, Dispatch and Marble (which has partnered with Yelp’s Eat24 food delivery service) — are equipped with sensors and GPS technology that, at least in theory, prevents them from running into people or inanimate objects. Yee told Recode he’d spoken with representatives for these companies but said their claims “weren’t convincing.”
A representative for Starship Technologies, the maker of a robot that’s currently in use in London, the Bay Area, and D.C., told Recode the company had received “positive feedback unanimously from cities we’re currently operating in around the world."
“We look forward to working with the supervisors, neighborhood groups and others to craft smart regulation that balances the needs of pedestrian safety, local businesses, manufacturing and innovation,” Marble CEO and co-founder Matt Delaney said in a statement///

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