I remember as a kid watching George Jetson commute to work in a little flying car, and seeing Michael J. Fox ride a hover board in Back To The Future. Well, technology has not advanced quite that far, but it’s getting closer, and this session the legislature passed a bill that would have seemed pretty futuristic just a few years ago. The bill legalizes small, robotic delivery vehicles called Personal Delivery Devices, or PDDs for short.
PDDs can be used to deliver small packages. Need a part from your local hardware store? Order it with your app. or a phone call, and the store can have a PDD walk it to your house. The same goes for a pizza from Casey’s or a new cell phone from your local electronics retailer. Amazon could use a fleet of PDDs for the final leg of their package deliveries, as could UPS or FedEx.
PDDs would travel in the same places as pedestrians, so a law legalizing their use needed to be passed. According to the legislation, PDDs may operate on sidewalks and crosswalks, and on county or municipal roadways provided they do not unreasonably interfere with motor vehicles or traffic. PDDs may not block public rights of way, shall obey traffic and pedestrian control signals, and shall not exceed 10 miles per hour (about jogging pace) on a sidewalk. Each PDD, shall display a unique identification number and a means of identifying the operator of the device. Unlike a car, PDDs shall be exempt from motor vehicle registration requirements, but like a car must maintain a general liability insurance policy of at least $100,000. PDDs can operate at night, but must be equipped with lighting. PDDs shall not be used to transport hazardous materials regulated by federal law.
Language authorizing PDDs was included in both HB661 and SB176. If Governor Parson signs either of these bills, PDDs will become legal. In keeping with the high-tech theme, maybe he will use a Tesla self-driving car to get to the signing ceremony. J
Until next time, health, happiness and prosperity to you and your family.