Autonomous Robot Delivery Service Pilot Program Arrives in Foster City
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Autonomous Robot Delivery Service Pilot Program Arrives in Foster City
For Immediate Release: October 26, 2017
Contact: Vanessa Brannon, Management Analyst, (650) 286-3354, vbrannon@fostercity.org
1 - Starship Technologies Autonomous Robots 2 - Starship Technologies Autonomous Robots
The City of Foster City has approved a pilot program with Starship Technologies, Inc. to allow the use of autonomous robots, also known as Personal Delivery Devices (PDD). The City will permit Starship Technologies to use their robots on City sidewalks and streets, delivering goods from DoorDash and Postmates to residents and businesses.

The company has created a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally and are currently used in multiple cities across the United States, United Kingdom and throughout Europe. Starship Technologies has pilot programs in several other Bay Area cities, including: Sunnyvale, San Carlos, Redwood City, Concord and Walnut Creek.  

"This is a perfect pilot program for Foster City that uses technology to enhance our local economy," said Vice-Mayor Sam Hindi. "This program has the potential to provide some of our smaller restaurants with exposure to a wider audience and reduce local delivery traffic through this innovative delivery service"  

Starship Technologies appeared before City Council in September to gain approval for the pilot program, introducing the robots to the mayor and councilmembers. "We're excited about coming to Foster City. We've done a lot of research, and your sidewalks are very safe. It's a great environment for robots," said Henry Harris-Burland, VP of Marketing with Starship Technologies, at the September 18th City Council Meeting.  

The PDD can carry approximately three grocery bags worth of goods and weighs about 50 pounds unloaded. It can carry about 20 pounds of goods and it uses nine on-board cameras to assist in its travels along the sidewalks. The Starship robot can travel up to 10 miles-per-hour but will be limited to 4 miles-per-hour on its sidewalk deliveries. At street crossings, it is assisted remotely by a human controller to ensure safe robot crossing that won't impede traffic. The PDDs (Personal Delivery Devices) are optimized to travel within a 2-3-mile radius from their docking point. With current customers like DoorDash and Postmates, users can establish their delivery times, track their items and unlock the robot via the mobile app. Starship Technologies plans to have a docking location in the city that will serve residential and business areas.  

Starship Technologies PDDs have been tested in more than 100 cities around the world to date. They drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control at any time. Launched in 2014 by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, Starship is changing the way parcels, groceries and food are delivered.  

For more information, please visit the landing page for Autonomous Robots on the Sustainable Foster City website at http://sustainable.fostercity.org/autonomous-robots/.  

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200