The Estonian delivery robot startup, Starship Technologies has been approved for pilot testing in Washington, DC, and Redwood City, CA; this comes on top of similar approvals in Coeur D’Alene, ID, and five cities in Europe.
Starship is working closely with a number of cities in the United States, including Sunnyvale, San Carlos and Menlo Park to gain permission for robot pilot programs. Similar efforts are continuing in Europe after the success of the joint testing program in London, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Bern, Switzerland, and Tallinn, Estonia.
“After successfully securing permission in Washington, DC, and Redwood City, we can expand our extensive research and development programme,” Ahti Heinla, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “We actively seek out places like Washington, DC, and Redwood City that share our vision for the future of delivery and we look forward to working closely with them during our pilot.”
The Mayor of Redwood City, John Seybert, said the city was excited that Starship chose it “for this innovative autonomous robot programme. It has strong potential to not only reduce traffic in Redwood City, but allow restaurants and businesses to serve a greater number of customers.”
Starship employs the only robotic delivery service in the world, testing in real-world environments and delivering to real customers. The robots have covered over 12,600 miles around the world in 16 countries and 58 cities, coming into contact with over two million people. They are designed to deliver packages, groceries and food to consumers within a two-three mile radius for as little as US$1 in the future. The robots can drive 99% autonomously, while being monitored by human operators in control centers.
Cover: Starship delivery robot. All images courtesy of Starship Technologies.