With states starting to increasingly consider, and in some cases, pass legislation permitting sidewalk delivery robots, local governments will need to prepare themselves for the coming debate. Should they be banned? What restrictions will be required? How will this impact the job market? Are there safety concerns? Are there privacy concerns? Surely, these questions, among others, will be part of the conversation.
While delivery robots currently being tested are designed for urban areas, suburban and rural models are being developed, so this new technology poses an impact on all communities. Already being tested in the District of Columbia, delivery robots will become legal in Virginia and Idaho on July 1, 2017, and may become legal in Wisconsin soon.
This new technology may be a novelty that will fade away due to a lack of market demand or the next big thing, but at least in the short term, they will be a disruptive technology for which local governments will need to prepare.