Amazon and FedEx pushing bills to legalize delivery robots

Amazon Delivery Robot Scout

With each coming year, we are moving towards the deeper penetration of technology into our daily lives. Recently, a lobbyist caught Erik Sartorius’ attention with legislation that is going to raise many eyebrows.

Erik Sartorius is an executive director of the Kansas League of Municipalities, and he came across a bill that was intended for the legalization of “devices” for delivery. The devices in this context are robots that will deliver almost anything you order at your doorstep.

The robot will operate on sidewalks and crosswalks with almost 5 to 7 miles per hour.
Lobbyists drafted the bill with assistance from Amazon. Jennie Massey, who operates as an Amazon lobbyist, said before the state senate committee that they are pushing this bill that will legalize to operate their robots like Scout. Those who don’t know what Scout is, it’s a robot that operates as a delivery device running on six-wheels.

She stated that Amazon had invested over $2.2 billion in the tech sector of Kansas since 2010, and over three thousand people work in the company. There have already been objections from Kansas City officials to this bill. They are concerned that the bill will allow these corporations to operate these delivery robots without paying taxes freely.

Besides, there’s an obvious consequence of the bill – mass unemployment.

The bill didn’t stand before Kansas lawmakers, but that was just one bill in one state, there are going to be more in future. Not just Amazon, FedEx too, has joined the bandwagon to push similar bills in other states.

There are already half of them becoming laws in some states. Amazon and FedEx are investing their resources into this new concept of delivery robots. While Amazon has Scout, FedEx has introduced Roxo. It appears like a mini-fridge. They conducted over four road-tests in cities.

Prime’s packages were also delivered by Scout, which was supposedly the tests. The vision is like this: a big van with many robots would arrive in a neighbourhood, then the robots would leave it to deliver the packages to the doorsteps of the customers.

The entire process would not involve any human. Although there are bills yet pending in the states, the companies are pushing hard to pass them. The robots are still away from being fully functional. There will be more rounds of tests before actual deliveries.

We are waiting for that day when these bots will carry out the first delivery of the package. What do you think, though? Is it right for people? Drop the comments below.

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