On-demand delivery business Postmates is expected to receive the first-ever permit for sidewalk robotics operations in San Francisco reports TechCrunch.

According to San Francisco Public Works, the permits are active for 180 days and authorise the testing of up to three autonomous delivery devices.

Postmates  has been working alongside San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee and labour and advocacy groups since 2017 to develop a framework for sidewalk robotics. The issuance of the permit, expected soon, makes San Francisco one of the first cities to formally allow companies to test autonomous delivery robots under a new pilot program.

“We’ve been eager to work directly with cities to seek a collaborative and inclusive approach to robotic deployment that respects our public rights of way, includes community input, and allows cities to develop thoughtful regulatory regimes,” a representative of Postmates said in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

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