FedEx autonomous delivery robots have been ordered to “get off the streets” by New York’s mayor after just one day in the city.
Roxo, the delivery giant’s “SameDay Bot”, was spotted autonomously navigating the streets of Manhattan last week.
Though the robot was just visiting the New York for a special event, not being tested in the city, lawyers from the department of transportation issued FedEx with a cease and desist letter.
“You are hereby directed to immediately cease and desist operating your SameDay Bots on the streets and sidewalks in the City of New York,” the letter read, accusing FedEx of breaching multiple traffic rules.
“Failure to do so may result in the seizure of the property, notices of violation and/or the commencement of legal action.”
First of all, @FedEx, never get a robot to do a New Yorker’s job. We have the finest workers in the world.
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. https://t.co/XxJIrIW9vr
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 23, 2019
And if FedEx didn’t quite get the point, New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “First of all, @FedEx, never get a robot to do a New Yorker’s job. We have the finest workers in the world. 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.”
De Blasio’s deputy press secretary later told CNN, “FedEx’s robots wouldn’t just undercut the jobs of hardworking New Yorkers — they would be a danger on our crowded streets.
“Today’s letter will hopefully be the end of this experiment, but we’re prepared to take further steps if FedEx isn’t willing to get them off our streets.”
FedEx’s SameDay Bot was launched earlier this year, and uses lidar sensors and cameras to autonomously navigate terrain of all kinds to deliver items to customers doors.