San Francisco Gives Permit To Postmates For Testing Sidewalk Delivery Robots

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Postmates has finally given the first permit in San Francisco to test sidewalk delivery robots, reports to TechCrunch, paving the way for the company to test the Serve autonomous delivery robot it announced in December.

The permit will let Postmates develop a new method of transportation for deliveries. Postmates claims that the electricity-powered robot, which has Velodyne LIDAR sensors and an Nvidia Xavier processor, can carry 50 lbs and travel 30 miles on a single battery charge.

San Francisco Public Works rules say that permits are valid for 180 days, that each permittee can test up to three autonomous delivery devices, and that each robot being tested must have a human operator within 30 feet for the duration of testing. As a result, you aren’t going to see hordes of autonomous delivery robots on the sidewalks of San Francisco just yet.

Postmates isn’t the first company to test sidewalk delivery robots. Starship Technologies’ robotic devices are already making deliveries in the UK, and the company partnered with Postmates to test deliveries in the US in 2017.