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Last-Mile Delivery Robots Making a Comeback After Initial Bans

Last-mile delivery robots are making a comeback with funding by VCs, and with cooperation with local governments to get needed permits. Nuro is working with FedEx on pilot deliveries in the Houston area. (Photo courtesy Nuro.) 

By John P. Desmond, Editor, AI Trends  

The last-mile delivery market for autonomous delivery robots is poised to make a comeback, with startups raising money and partnerships working to get needed permission from local governments.  

The autonomous vehicle delivery market was interrupted in 2017, when the city of San Francisco instituted a ban. Some pedestrians had complained that the delivery robots crowded the sidewalks and posed a hazard to humans.  

About a month after the first bot rolled down the sidewalk, San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee proposed a ban on the use of the technology, citing public safety concerns, according to an account in ZDNet   

“I resolutely believe that our sidewalks should be prioritized ...

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