Autonomous Delivery Robots Are Now ‘Pedestrians’ in Pennsylvania

The legal rights of robots have expanded, at least in Pennsylvania. There, autonomous delivery drones will be allowed to maneuver on sidewalks and paths as well as roadways and will now technically be considered “pedestrians.” It’s the latest change in the evolving relationship between autonomous vehicles and humans.

In Pennsylvania, the legal limits for autonomous delivery robots mean a maximum top speed of 12 mph in a pedestrian area, 25 mph on a roadway, and a load limit of 550 pounds. The Pennsylvania law was sponsored by state senator Ryan Aument and went into effect in January. Aument did not respond to Car and Driver’s request for comment.

Counting Pennsylvania, there are now a dozen states, including Virginia, Idaho, Florida, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., according to Axios, where it is legal for personal delivery robots to share the streets with people.