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Piloting Sidewalk Delivery Robots in Pittsburgh, Miami-Dade county, Detroit, and San Jose
The Knight Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Initiative is a multi-year collaborative effort between the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon, Cityfi, the cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San José, and Miami-Dade County (the “cohort”) to pilot and learn about automated mobility technologies today to shape the future of deployment tomorrow. This cohort partnered with Kiwibot to learn more about a new technology—sidewalk delivery robots. Through this partnership, Kiwibot tested different use cases and collaborated on community engagement opportunities in each locale. Given the proliferation of bills being passed by state legislatures legalizing deployment of personal delivery devices (PDDs) or sidewalk robots, and the increased delivery demand due to the pandemic, the pilots were well timed to able to meaningfully inform the cohort cities about the potential benefits and challenges of sidewalk delivery robots.
Events and demonstrations are the best ways to engage community members and onboard them into a new experience.
Pilots should test with low-stakes deliveries.
Partner Selection - technology providers and local partner businesses - is crucial to success.
There is strong value in city-level control while business models and technologies are maturing but not yet ready to scale.
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