A Marble sidewalk delivery robot moves down Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District on July 21, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A Marble sidewalk delivery robot moves down Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District on July 21, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Legislation regulating delivery robots in SF approved in committee

Legislation that would require companies testing delivery robots in San Francisco to get a permit was approved unanimously in committee Wednesday.

The legislation, introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee in response to concerns that delivery robots might pose a threat to pedestrians and create safety issues, was originally proposed as a ban on the mobile delivery devices shortly after one company launched them on city sidewalks.

SEE RELATED: SF rolls back robot delivery ban on sidewalks

The proposal was backed by pedestrian advocacy groups but ran into opposition from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, who argued that the city should not ban potentially innovative technologies.

The current plan will allow up to three companies to obtain 180 day permits for testing up to three devices each in designated light industrial areas of The City.

The devices will not be allowed to exceed a top speed of 3 miles per hour and must have a human operator on hand at all times. They will be required to yield to pedestrians and bicycles and obey traffic signals and come equipped with headlights and warning sounds to alert pedestrians.

Yee, a vocal advocate for pedestrian safety, today said that some advocates have urged him to just go directly to the ballot with a ban, but he prefers to wait to see whether the measure passes the Board of Supervisors.

He expressed a sense of urgency in getting the measure passed, however, before the new technology is well established.

“We need to get ahead of the curve,” he said. “People say, why not wait? Well, I cannot wait.”

The legislation will be voted on by the full board in December. Politics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Jill Bonny, owner of Studio Kazoku tattoo parlor in the Haight, tattoos client Lam Vo on Friday, March 5, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
No one was fighting for tattoo artists, so they started advocating for themselves

Jill Bonny has been tattooing in the Bay Area since 2000. Four… Continue reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Most Read