Harmonize Mobility, the Canadian future transportation thought leadership company, has released a new white paper examining in detail ways to manage and provide standards for a burgeoning new form of mobility solution – sidewalk robots.
These machines typically operate completely autonomously and do not carry people but goods. They are aimed particularly at solving the last-mile problem of delivery in urban centers, thereby easing pressure on overcrowded roads. But as they move from rapidly from live tests to real-world deployment, how should they be managed?
“Sidewalk robots will (at least!) rival ride-hailing in their urban impact,” Harmonize Mobility’s chief innovation officer Bern Grush tells TTi. “They will precede robotaxis and provide our first experience with a massive number of automated machines mixed with humans and human-operated machines in public spaces. As both a significant boon and a tremendous management problem, they need standards, ground-control systems, and a ‘Sidewalk Traffic Act’.”
The White Paper addresses issues surrounding the new technology and also looks at the possible content and purpose of the forthcoming International Organization for Standardization project “Sidewalk and kerb operations for automated vehicles” ISO/4448 standard, which aims to offer guidance on deployment of this new technology. Publication of the first part of this standard is expected later this year, with three further parts to follow until 2024.