New York City has ordered FedEx to keep its delivery robots off the streets, after the bots were sighted about town last week.
The company’s SameDay Bots, which were unveiled earlier this year as a proposed last-mile delivery solution for retailers, were present for a promotional Small Business Saturday event.
They were not part of a delivery operation or trial. All the same, the New York City Department of Transportation sent FedEx a cease-and-desist letter, warning them that failure to stop “may result in the seizure of the property, notices of violation and/or the commencement of legal action.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio also flexed on Twitter, saying: “First of all, @FedEx, never get a robot to do a New Yorker’s job. We have the finest workers in the world.
Credit: Nout Gons
“Second of all, we didn’t grant permission for these to clog up our streets. If we see ANY of these bots we’ll send them packing.”
Vehicle and traffic laws in the city stipulate that motor vehicles are prohibited on sidewalks, unless they receive a special exemption—which FedEx had not obtained for the robots.
However, several of the responses to de Blasio’s tweet asked him to turn his attention to clearing parked cars and trucks from the sidewalks instead.