Virginia First State To Pass a Law Allowing Delivery Robots
Virginia is the first state to pass a law allowing delivery robots to operate on sidewalks and crosswalks across the state.
The two Virginia lawmakers who sponsored the bill, Ron Villanueva and Bill DeSteph, teamed up with Starship Technologies, an Estonian-based company, to draft the legislation. Robots operating under the new law won’t be able to exceed 10 miles per hour or weigh over 50 pounds, but they will be allowed to move autonomously.
Virginia’s new law will allow autonomous robots to cruise the state’s sidewalks https://t.co/pP0MpKQBHC
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While robots won’t have to be within the line of sight of the person in control under the law, a person is required to monitor the robot from a distance. They will be required to stay on the street or in a crosswalk.
“There wasn’t push back [from legislators]. It was more like intrigue and curiosity about the technology, what the application would be, how it would benefit the citizens,” Rep. Villanueva said in an interview.
Companies like Amazon and Grubhub sent Virginia lawmakers letters of support to pass the new robotic delivery law, said Rep. Villanueva.
Legislation similar to what passed in Virginia has been proposed in Idaho and Florida.
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