Delivery robots, a sci-fi idea that recently entered real-world testing, would be banned from San Francisco sidewalks under legislation Supervisor Norman Yee introduced on Tuesday.
“I want to keep our sidewalks safe for people,” Yee said. “Seniors, children, people with disabilities can’t maneuver quickly” to avoid robots. He has other concerns as well: potential job loss for delivery people; privacy issues, because the robots are equipped with cameras; and even terrorism, if someone loads up a robot with explosives.
Yee said he initially considered regulating the robots, but soon concluded that any rules would be almost unenforceable.
Robots that range in size from dorm fridge to shopping cart and go about 3 or 4 mph, the same speed as a pedestrian, are currently trundling along sidewalks in several cities for pilot delivery programs.