Robot Delivery Pilot Program

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What's New

On November 13, 2017, the City Council approved an extension of the Pilot Program that will run through December 31, 2018.  As part of the extension, the City Council has allowed for up to two robot companies to operate within the City limits. Updated Application to Operate, Conditions of Operation, and the staff report can be found below.

Program Background

In November 2016, the City Council approved a pilot program to allow the use of autonomous robots, also known as Personal Delivery Devices “PDD”, for a period of nine months in the City of Redwood City and authorizing the City Manager to issue a PDD Permit to Starship Technologies, Inc.  The program is implemented through the issuance of a permit establishing the terms and conditions for a company to participate in the program and allow the use of their robots on City sidewalks and streets.

Starship Technologies, a London based company founded in 2014, created and launched the use of an autonomous delivery robot also known as a Personal Delivery Device “PDD” that is being used in many cities in the United Kingdom and Germany.  The PDD delivers groceries, restaurant take-out items and more.  It can carry approximately three grocery bags worth of goods and weighs about 50 pounds when fully loaded.  The PDD is autonomous, using nine on-board cameras to assist in its travels along the sidewalks and going no more than four miles per hour. 

At street crossings, it is assisted by a human controller to ensure it is safe for the robot to cross the street and not impede traffic.  The PDDs travel throughout a five-mile radius from their docking point.  Customers can establish their delivery times, track their items while in transit on the mobile application at all times, and securely retrieve their items with their unique code that opens the robot.  Starship Technologies plans to have two docking locations in the city and plan on serving the residential areas.  

A smaller pilot program is currently underway in Washington D.C.; however, Redwood City is the primary pilot program for Starship Technologies in the United States. The company is using the PDDs in Redwood City for an initial pilot period of nine months, and then will decide whether to continue based on the results on the pilot. 

For questions or concerns regarding this program, please contact Alex Khojikian, Deputy City Manager, at or 650-780-7302.