A Glimpse into the Future? The First Robot Delivery Legislation Just Passed

Date: March 08, 2017

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Drones have been touted as the next big thing in home delivery, and one state took a big step forward in putting the first robot delivery law in the books.

A world of robo-delivered pizza—or any sort of deliverable item—might not be far off.

While discussions about drones delivering packages have circulated for the past few years, Virginia just became the first state to legalize the use of sidewalks and crosswalks for delivery robots, according to Recode. Lawmakers partnered with Starship Technologies to help draft the bill to make it legal for rolling drones to make deliveries. 

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“It was more like intrigue and curiosity about the technology, what the application would be, how it would benefit the citizens,” co-sponsor Del. Ron Villanueva told Recode. 

What’s all this mean for small business? For starters, owners could potentially save money by not paying for a car, driver, or insurance, assuming all of the local deliveries are within the drone’s range, Small Business Trends reported.

With legislation set to take effect July 1, is it time, then, to let go all of your couriers and rely on a robotic workforce? Not just yet. Only 47 percent of Americans are actually interested in drone delivery, according to ReportLinker. Plus, rolling drones only have a two to three mile radius and can carry up to 22 pounds, Phys.org reported. 

Virginia may be the first state to have legislation regarding delivery robots on the books, but both Idaho and Florida are proposing laws, and Starship is currently testing its technology in Washington, D.C., and California. And, if drones continue to rise in popularity, other states might not be far off.

Related: 

Drones, Robots Welcome in Miami 

4 Business Trends for 2016 You Can’t Ignore

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