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Yee Pulls Delivery Robot Ban, Proposes Permit Process

October 18, 2017

by Teresa Hammerl : hoodline – excerpt

Photos of robots by zrants

District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee yesterday revised a proposal to ban autonomous delivery robots from San Francisco sidewalks. Yee’s new plan would require companies to obtain permits for using robots, limiting their use to light industrial areas.

As we reported in May, Yee introduced legislation to prohibit robots that  transport items for commercial purposes from using sidewalks. At the time, he said companies were testing delivery devices without any legal framework. Yesterday, he noted that the law sometimes lags behind emergent technologies.

“I’m introducing amendments that strike the balance to protect our public resource, local companies and supports innovation,” Yee said, adding that sidewalks should always be prioritized for human use.

If his legislation passes, companies could apply for permits that allow them to do robotics testing, research and development in areas zoned for production, design and repair—most of which are located in eastern neighborhoods…

Yee’s amendments have been sent back to a Board committee for further consideration…(more)

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