Concord considering robot delivery pilot program with Starship Technologies Inc.

CONCORD, Calif. -- The city of Concord is considering signing off on a pilot program that would bring autonomous delivery technology company Starship Technologies Inc. to the city.

On July 11, the Concord City Council will vote on whether to allow Starship to run a year-long pilot program to test sidewalk-roving personal delivery devices, or PDDs, in neighborhoods near downtown.

Pedro Garcia, the economic development specialist for the city, said in a statement that Starship would be a positive addition to the city's economy.

"We are excited at the prospect of welcoming Starship, a company whose services will stimulate economic growth by creating more opportunities for Concord's local businesses to reach their customers, further cementing Concord as a hub for autonomous technology testing," Garcia said.

Launched in 2014 by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, Starship is an autonomous delivery company that uses PDDs to transport parcels, groceries and food orders to customers in about 30 minutes.

According to city officials, the company's PDDs emit zero carbon dioxide, are low-weight, travel at 4 mph and are equipped with speakers and microphones to ensure safety. The PDDs, which can also travel up to 3 miles, can be tracked in real time on a customer's mobile phone.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the program on Tuesday.
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