City of Concord California

News Release

July 5, 2017

Concord takes steps toward approving autonomous delivery pilot program

Concord CA takes steps toward approving autonomous delivery pilot programThe City of Concord is considering signing off on a pilot program that would bring autonomous delivery technology company Starship Technologies, Inc. to the Bay Area city. The City Council is set to vote at its July 11 meeting. Launched by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis in 2014, Starship is an autonomous delivery company that utilizes sidewalk-roving personal delivery devices (PDD) to transport parcels, groceries and food orders to customers in about 30 minutes.

"We are excited at the prospect of welcoming Starship, a company whose services will stimulate economic growth by creating more opportunities for Concord's local businesses to reach their customers, further cementing Concord as a hub for autonomous technology testing," said Pedro Garcia, Economic Development Specialist at the City of Concord. "They would be joining a roster of technology and advanced manufacturing companies that have selected Concord for its competitive office space, convenient location and qualified workforce."

The electric Starship PDDs emit zero CO2, are low weight, only travel four miles per hour and are equipped with speaker and microphones to ensure safety. The PDDs can travel up to three miles, and customers can track their delivery in real time via mobile phone.

The push comes on the heels of recent technology investments in Concord including an agreement with Marin Clean Energy to provide solar and wind-based green energy to residents, and a $3.5 million state budget appropriation to continue support of the GoMentum Station. The autonomous vehicle test site is part of a public-private partnership between Concord, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Stantec that has served as a proving ground for companies such as Honda, EasyMile and most recently FirstGroup.

Upon approval, Starship would run a pilot for up to a year, with a focus on the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Concord.

For more information, contact Garcia at (925) 671-3084.

Photo caption: Demonstrating the PDD at Concord Civic Center at far right is Starship's Justin Hoffman, Head of Operations California with (left to right) Concord's Economic Development Manager John Montagh, Economic Development Specialist Pedro Garcia, and Director of Community and Economic Development Victoria Walker.

City of Concord CA