Starship Technologies to Pilot Robot Delivery Program in Redwood City
REDWOOD CITY, CA - Beginning in December 2016, residents of Silicon Valley are glimpsing the future as a fleet of self-driving robots hit the streets to deliver goods to consumer doors.
After an October proposal to the Redwood's City Council by London-based Starship Technologies was approved, plans for the diminutive, earth-friendly delivery bots to roll out are under way.
"This is something totally new for Redwood City," Catherine Ralston, Redwood City's Economic Development Manager said, according to NBC Bay Area news. "We are a technology hub and we are willing to accept new technologies.”
This stateside development comes nearly one year after the company's U.K. launch. Residents who request restaurant and grocery delivery from various vendors will see an option for delivery by the Starship bots, according to NBC Bay Area news.
Reminiscent of a wagon, a cooler, and a mini-tank; these adorable slow-moving robo-couriers max out at a speed of 4 mph—a quality which made them less of a safety concern for the council, and preferrable to drones such as the ones Chipotle debuted last September. Once deployed, residents waiting for their groceries receive a code that allows them to track the delivery, and unlock the bot when it arrives at the destination.
The pilot program—allowing the use of the robots along city sidewalks and streets—will last nine months, alongside a copilot in Washington D.C. Upon completion, there will be a review to determine whether the program will continue.
Starship Technologies, run by former Skype Co-Founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, claims the bots have logged more than 10,000 miles across United Kingdom and Germany.
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