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Open AccessArticle

On the Regulatory Framework for Last-Mile Delivery Robots

1
Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 12616 Tallinn, Estonia
2
Department of Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 12616 Tallinn, Estonia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Machines 2018, 6(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines6030033
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Manufacturing, Digital Supply Chains and Industry 4.0)
Autonomously driving delivery robots are developed all around the world, and the first prototypes are tested already in last-mile deliveries of packages. Estonia plays a leading role in this field with its, start-up Starship Technologies, which operates not only in Estonia but also in foreign countries like Germany, Great Britain, and the United States of America (USA), where it seems to provide a promising solution of the last-mile problem. But the more and more frequent appearance of delivery robots in public traffic reveals shortcomings in the regulatory framework of the usage of these autonomous vehicles—despite the maturity of the underlying technology. The related regulatory questions are reaching from data protection over liability for torts performance to such mundane fields as traffic law, which a logistic service provider has to take into account. This paper analyses and further develops the regulatory framework of autonomous delivery robots for packages by highlighting legal implications. Since delivery robots can be understood as cyber-physical systems in the context of Industry 4.0, the research contributes to the related regulatory framework of Industry 4.0 in international terms. Finally, the paper discusses future perspectives and proposes specific modes of compliance. View Full-Text
Keywords: delivery robots; autonomous transport; last-mile distribution; regulatory framework; Industry 4.0 delivery robots; autonomous transport; last-mile distribution; regulatory framework; Industry 4.0
MDPI and ACS Style

Hoffmann, T.; Prause, G. On the Regulatory Framework for Last-Mile Delivery Robots. Machines 2018, 6, 33.

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