Is it legal to operate a commercial autonomous robot on public sidewalks (and street crossings) to deliver pizza for example? The robot would not operate directly on roads or streets where it could meet other traffic participants.

Places of interest are California and Germany.

  • 1
    Probably not - thats one of the reasons the Segway failed - ie it could not be driven on sidewalks.
    – davidgo
    Jun 7, 2016 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


In the US, it is unlikely that there will be a uniform answer. In California, the technology is sidewalk-legal at the state level, as long as it is operated safely, and they are reputedly operating in some (college campus) locations in California. A municipality could decide that it won't tolerate (unmanned) bots on the sidewalk, at least until the state legislature makes it illegal to locally regulate their use. D.C is considering actively authorizing the devices outside of downtown, though this is erroneously (according to the DC council) reported as having passed. It appears that businesses aiming to offer this service are trying to protect their investment by getting ahead of the inevitable call for regulation.

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