Sharing a sidewalk with one of DoorDash's delivery robots is a bit like getting stuck behind someone playing Pokémon Go on his smartphone. The robot moves a little bit slower than you want to; every few meters it pauses, jerking to the left or right, perhaps turning around, then turning again before continuing on its way.If you've ever seen one of these things in action, they are dumber than shit. No human could tolerate being stuck behind one. You'd kick it out of the way after thirty seconds, for sure.
These are the sidewalks of the future, technology evangelists promise. Autonomous delivery robots, once the exclusive purview of 1980s sci-fi movies, are coming to a city near you, with promises of reduced labor costs, increased efficiency and the reduction of cars.
They have to cross the street, right? They take longer than a crippled old drunk with a walker to do it. They have to wait for traffic lights. But if there's only a stop sign, then what? You're going to see ten of them waiting at a stop sign when its busy. They're going to get stuck. They're going to get lost. They're going to get rolled upside down and broken open by kids. They're going to wander into your driveway and be attacked by the dog. They're going to end up in the middle of an intersection blowing their tiny annoying horn and blinking their distress light because they had a nervous breakdown. They'll run out of battery. They'll end up busted on your front lawn, and the cops will give -you- a ticket.