Washington State OKs Autonomous Delivery Robots

Washington State is set to welcome autonomous delivery robots to its streets becoming the eight American state to do so. The bill allowing the delivery robots to cruise city streets was signed last month by the state's governor Jay Inslee.

Fans of the delivery system say the six-wheeled robots help reduce pollution and traffic congestion thanks to their silent electric motors. The delivery bots may also help give local business an edge over big corporations like Amazon – allowing the local companies to deliver quickly and affordably without owning serious delivery infrastructure.

Amazon is, of course, quick to embrace the new technology and had an autonomous robot present for the signing of the bill.

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Critics complain that the robots will cause accidents and slow down pedestrian access throughout the city. So far there have been no reported accidents between the robots and humans.

The nifty delivery vehicles use a combination of sensors and cameras, GPS and machine learning to navigate through crowds. They have the ability to map their environment and avoid obstacles autonomously.

The other states to embrace the future of delivery include Virginia, Idaho, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Utah, and Arizona. Big tech-loving states like California are trying to deal with heavy bureaucracy before it can boast same day robot delivery.

Delivery Sector Fires Up

Starship Technologies, who create the autonomous delivery vehicles backed the Washington State's bill. The US and Estonia based company say they are making “local delivery faster, smarter and more cost-efficient.” Full story at Interesting Engineering

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