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Contactless Delivery Robots May Soon Hit A Sidewalk Near You
The following is an excerpt from Fast Company. Click here to read Rob Pegoraro’s full article.
The future of autonomous vehicles is coming slower than expected—maybe less than 10 miles per hour.
But delivery robots don’t need to move even that fast to take groceries to customers. Where they’re going, they may not even need roads, just sidewalks. And now their inhumanity isn’t a bug but a feature for pandemic-weary shoppers anxious for touch-free deliveries.
Promising though these bots are, they have gotten into mishaps, some as simple as the occasional case of a robot getting stuck before a kind human frees it. Sidewalks and streets themselves can complicate a delivery robot’s life, even though the Americans with Disabilities Act’s mandate for step-free surfaces should ease their path.
Lisa Nisenson, vice president for new mobility and connected communities at West Palm Beach design firm WGI, says that “mobility lanes” for vehicles slower than traditional cars may not answer this problem. Imagining one occupied by, among others, a 10-mph delivery robot, a 17-mph driverless shuttle, and an 18-mph electric bike, she asks, “Who passes whom, and is the road really wide enough?”
What happens when there are 10 or 20 of those?” asks Larco of the streets of tomorrow. Nisenson takes that question further: “What happens when there’s 100?”
Read the full article and find out more about what other mobility specialists had to say about the delivery robots and their impact here.
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WGI makes a very significant 41-spot jump from last year’s Hot Firm ranking of #76.
The future is fast approaching and 5G is here. Discover how you can fully leverage what 5G technology will ultimately unleash.
WGI is tackling a new generation of solutions through its New Mobility and Connected Cities program.
As a mobility company, WGI is helping clients adjust to technology trends shaping not only transportation, but urban design, parking, and broader access to destinations. Among trends, no other technology has grabbed attention quite like shared electric scooters.
WGI’s Lisa Nisenson was featured on the American Planning Association’s podcast to discuss rapidly changing e-commerce trends and technologies, and the long-term implications of COVID-19 on the way planners are thinking about the future.