FedEx released a bunch of its same-day delivery robots, which were seen cruising around lower Manhattan as part of a pilot program. Pedestrians were bewildered at sight, with many videos posted on social media showing the carrier’s SameDay Bot fleet rolling through the city. The company was quick to say, however, that it was not testing the devices in the Big Apple, and was only visiting the city on a special event. The company has not yet released future testing plans. The self-propelling robots, fitted with artificial intelligence, stair climbing wheels, and motion sensors, are still being tested in other markets, FedEx said on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
The Same-Day bots, known as Roxos, were capable of traveling through roads and sidewalks, causing a stir among New Yorkers. The company’s customers have given mixed reactions to the bots. Chris Livingston, a customer shipping from the East Village with the company, said that there is not enough room for the bots to maneuver the streets safely. The 42-year old said that Amazon has had enough boxes filling the city’s streets and that the bots are an unwelcome addition to the cityscape.
Mayor de Blasio tweeted about the state-of-the-art technology, accusing the company of taking jobs from New York citizens. In his statement, Hizzoner said that the company should not replace human workers with robots, adding that the city has the best workforce in the country. City Hall issued a warning to the company, explaining that it did not authorize the bots to roam the streets and that they would be removed on sight.
City Hall spokesman Will Baskin-Gerwitz said in a statement to The Post that the massive autonomous robots on city streets are not allowed and present a public security threat to New Yorkers, adding that City Hall is trying to use all valid methods to eliminate them.
The company, however, maintained that several security measures have been employed on the device and that it is willing to work with lawmakers to satisfy all regulatory standards. The Bot uses machine-learning algorithms to navigate and evade obstacles, as well as map out the best routes. It is connected to a remote tower capable of changing the route, the company explained. The company is currently experimenting on how customers can order from and securely deliver their packages from stores within 3 miles from retail partners, including Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.
This post was originally published on Food and Beverage Herald