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Utah Committee Advances Law To Allow Robots On Sidewalks

Delivery robots could be allowed on Utah sidewalks.
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Delivery robots could be allowed on Utah sidewalks.

A bill that would modify Utah traffic code to allow delivery robots to roam sidewalks has advanced through the state House Transportation Committee.

The committee on Wednesday unanimously voted in favor of modifying the traffic code. Such personal delivery robots fall under the legal definition of an automobile, so the bill aims at carving out a safe space in wording so the bots can operate.

David Catania, head of public affairs for Starship Technologies, says a robot is designed to slow down or stop when it detects people.

Republican Rep. Stewart Barlow of Fruit Heights says the robots travel at about 4 mph. He says the bots operate entirely on sidewalks.

The bill will now go to the full House for further debate.