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ThingsHappen Episode 16: Introduction and implications of sidewalk delivery robots

By Walter Knitl posted 03-28-2022 22:28



Introduction and implications of sidewalk delivery robots

Watch out, don’t trip – over that sidewalk delivery robot.  Or is it the other way around – watch out, get out of the way of that human.  What will be the rules of engagement as autonomous robots encroach our public sidewalk space and mingle with us and with each other?  We explore the benefits they bring, the traffic management challenges they create, and the risks they pose.  And – we delve deep into the resulting governance implications and what standards are now being developed to get the most from autonomous sidewalk robots – and play safe and nice with each other.


Our guest is Bern Grush, Executive Director at Urban Robotics Foundation.  Bern is a transportation innovator and entrepreneur in automated vehicles, parking reform, and road pricing with extensive experience in human factors and systems design engineering.  Bern’s forte is the interplay between people and technology in urban contexts, as reflected in his 2018 textbook “The End of Driving: Transportation Systems and Public Policy Planning for Autonomous Vehicles”.  Bern’s technical foundation comes from his engineering degrees from the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo.

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