Self-driving delivery robots could soon be hitting the streets of Phoenix

- Starship Technologies is hoping to begin operating in the Valley, and help to revolutionize the way items are delivered.

The company currently has operation centers in five countries, and their robots have had 11 million human interactions. Starship surveys the world of where they want to operate, and they said Phoenix is on the cutting edge of technology, and is the perfect market for their product.

The company went before the state's transportation committee on Wednesday, hoping for approval to operate self driving delivery robots in the Valley.

"Whenever you want something you would simply just as you would dial or order a pizza online, you would order the item online, you would select us as your delivery option, you'll follow the device on your phone," said David Catania with Starship Technologies. "It's like an Uber for things. When it gets in front of your house, it sends you a text message. You go out, hit the button, it unlocks the device then it sends the device back to the home office."

The robots weigh about 50 pounds, and can carry about 20 pounds worth of goods, like pizza, groceries, packages and much more. They move at pedestrian speed, at about 4 miles per hour. 

"The sweet spot for delivery is within 1.5 miles of the place of origin, and the reason for that is at its speed of about 4 miles per hour, we're trying to get the product to the consumer within 30 minutes," said Catania.

The robots are 90 percent autonomous, and rely on GPS. Catania says the robots make delivery faster, smarter, more efficient, and are built from the ground up to be safe. 

"There's a great bubble of situational awareness," said Catania. "It's a combination of cameras and sonic sensors, so as it traverses, it can see you before you see it, and it will stop if an object is in front of it. Go around the object as people, property or things are along the side of it the software has it slow down."

Following a committee vote, this will then go to the full State House for a vote, and then to the Senate. If it passes all of those steps, it will then go to the Governor's desk for approval, with the delivery robots in operation soon after the Governor's approval.

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