FedEx launched sameDay, a delivery robot designed for short-haul delivery, in February. It is battery-powered, has a top speed of 10 miles per hour, can climb stairs and uses the same camera and LIDAR technology used in self-driving cars. The SameDay robot video, posted on Twitter last week, shows it walking along the streets of New York into a FedEx warehouse. Although it has not yet been tested in the city, it has caused outrage among New York City officials.
Lawyers for the New York City Department of Transportation sent a termination notice to FedEx on Monday, warning that the robot violated multiple traffic regulations and that the company would face consequences if it did not stop operating it, CNN reported. “You hereby direct you to immediately stop operating sameDay robots on the streets and sidewalks of New York City,” the attorney wrote in the termination notice. Failure to do so may result in confiscation of property, notice of infringement and/or initiation of legal action. ”
Motor vehicles are not permitted on sidewalks in New York City under applicable law, and motor vehicles are not allowed when driving with at least one hand on the steering wheel. Even New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was involved in the outrage, tweeting that no robot should replace New Yorkers, and he didn’t want it to clog the streets. FedEx’s robots, he says, not only undermine the work of hard-working New Yorkers, but also pose a danger on our crowded streets. “。
FedEx’s robots may not be popular in New York, but eight states have approved sidewalk bots, including Virginia, which was the first to approve, and Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Wisconsin and Washington.