Driverless delivery vehicle proposal before Senate panel
The Senate Commerce committee debates a proposal allow driverless delivery vehicles to operate on sidewalks and highways and limit cities' ability to restrict them.
I think it was Chairman. We want to start off. Senator. Soldier has an amendment to send forward. I think everyone has a copy of that fourth year Amendment. Everybody has a copy. Is that correct? Um, would you like to explain your amendment to us? Okay. Thank you. You should have version four of the amendment. And, uh, we have some simple changes that have occurred as a result of communication with the Department of Transportation and the League of Municipalities of the first section that is addressed basically amends the definition to include a size limitation which was important to them. We have some more technical changes. By deleting the word registered, we did have a registration with Secretary of State that is amended out with this amendment on. Now, people just have to be a business has to be in good standing in our state, which is basically the same thing without as much work. It also puts clarifies that a human can be in charge on the corporate end of this machine so they can take over the machine remotely and monitor where it is. And there is compliance language in the next section on page two lines. 30 33 just indicates a. If this thing's going to operate in a pedestrian area, has toe abide by those laws. Same thing with bicycle lanes. The next big portion of the amendment would limit the speed. So you see two speeds. In the original bill, I think it was about 12 miles an hour was a limit. You see 10 and 35. And the reason for that is companies like Amazon or using these devices to try to make deliveries in rural areas So they would be on the apron of the road or maybe operate on a rule location. But it in municipalities, they do not, and they go to slower speed so way. See well, before I go into the bill, that's the substantive a portion of the amendments, any questions, One more time to any question for the members Senator Alexander A road or the other than right Chairman Senator Alexander, that you actually have a little video on your email and you can see them. So you see example of the FedEx delivery and no, they're not drones. They're robotic devices. The FedEx version is actually on a base that was built by the creator of Segway so it can traverse different areas. Go up steps. Ah, and it's basically think of, ah, box on wheels. Or like a track type system that can secure cargo inside and actually go up to someone's door. They're notified. They open it with a smartphone. Take it out so you can have contact lists. Delivery. It's is really for last mile delivery. Some people think that's only for cities or you know that. They say, What? Isn't it easier in cities and rural areas? When cities you have a lot of congestion, you have a lot traffic everywhere. Think of the how many times you've seen delivery vehicle parked blocking the road. There's a lot of stops and starts. A lot of people worry about pollution. Things coming out. This is a prototype in about nine states right now that have laws authorizing these personal delivery devices. There's a college campus that uses a delivery device to deliver food. They've had about 100,000 deliveries in the last two years. There's a local hospital that uses a delivery device for medications in the hospital, so it gives us here in Raleigh this technology I've been reading about it. We've seen it for about the last 15 years. They started prototyping. These probably around 2012. And this legislation really started passing in different states about three years ago. So it's more common than people realize around. I'm just curious if if it shows up at your door when you're not home, uh, what happens becomes Chairman Senator Brown. If it shows up at your door and you're not home, this device will cut your grass and wash your car and do the dishes and everything you need. This I'm not sure. I think it notifies you, Elektronik Lee, and it would come back out for delivery just like any other Miss Delivery would. It was really interesting Teoh us because of the pandemic and the ability to deliver things without any human contact because, you know, you may be asymptomatic. Going in were a delivery device. If you just clean it well, you don't have to worry about it being asymptomatic. So that was another thing that called our interest on these. And again, this is these are just prototypes. They're still working through where it's going to make the most sense. How it's going to be feasible that last mile delivery that they talk about all the time. That could be up somewhere in the range of 50% of the cost of delivery of packages and items. So this this could help ease some congestion help with same day deliveries in some markets. There's a lot of different uses that are being discussed now. Center Searcy, Mr Chair went quick comment. I represent Southern Wake County, and part of my district includes the Research Triangle Park area. And I think it's exciting when you think about the fact that North Carolina is either the eighth or the ninth biggest state in the country, that we're really on the precipice of embracing new technology. And I think that's exciting for us to be a leader in the Southeast on this. So I just wanted to make that comment. Thank you. Thank you. Dinner Johnson mentioned approved the amendment. Okay, we have motion in front office to approve the amendment. Oh, in favor. Signify by saying aye. Opposed? No, the eyes have it. The bill is back in front of us as a minute. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Members, this this bill will continue to evolve as we see things that need to be done and need to be addressed will continue to work with the league and D, O T and other stakeholders as they emerge. It's important to embrace technology and change to move forward. I would ask for your support on this bill. Senator Alexander. I think that this is an excellent forward thinking piece of legislation. I thank you for it. I'm looking forward to having my grass mowed, too. So But with that, I would like to move that this be approved with whatever language that were supposed to approve. It will be okay. Well, hold appropriate time. We'll hold that to the appropriate time of any other questions. Comments from the members Senator Newt. So I couldn't help but be reminded in this discussion about the traveling robot that made it through Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and then got destroyed on the streets of Philadelphia as it started North American. That quote here is just funny. When I looked it up and said, Sometimes bad things happen to good robots. So my question is, do you feel like today's crypt? Criminal and civil codes are robust enough to protect these robots from vandalism. Theft? Prepare to start. I think it was Chairman Senator Noonan. I doubt that on the front end of a new program that we've thought of everything associated with it. I don't know that we can counter every bad person out there that does bad things to good robots. But we're certainly open to continuing the conversation and putting thought around that. Thank you. Thank you, Mr Chairman. Senator Sanderson. Thank you, Mr Chairman. I just have one question, Senator. Period, Are watch dogs able to draw unemployment, but if you want to, I think it was Chairman Senator Sanders Sanderson. I think, you know, it could be possible. I'm just not sure how easy it would be to actually obtain those benefits where I feel like this is going down here. Any other questions from the members? I love us. Afraid of that. Senator Brown is recognized. I'm just curious. The difference between a good robot in the bathroom, I think chairs. Think the chair. It's going to exercise his privilege and asks if there any more legitimate questions from the members. See you. None of I believe that Senator Ted Alexander has mood for a favorable to the bill as amended. Roll into a new PCs where they referral to transportation Oh, in favor, signify by saying aye. Posed No, The eyes have it. The bill carries it will be sent to transportation being no other business. We stand adjourned writing later for 20 seconds.