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Bill under consideration by Senate committee could revolutionize delivery

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Having packages delivered could become faster and more convenient than ever for Missourians, thanks to a bill under consideration by the Senate transportation committee.

Sen. Lincoln Hough is a Republican from Springfield sponsoring Senate Bill 176, which would allow and provide guidelines for the use of personal delivery devices, or PDDs.

“In statute oftentimes, when things aren’t specifically enumerated, people and municipalities have some heartburn about the clarification of whether or not they can utilize some new technologies,” said Hough.

With companies like Amazon, FedEx and others in the process of testing technology that would enable machines to deliver goods directly to homes and businesses, this legislation would open the door for these innovations to be deployed in Missouri.

Customers are increasingly buying online, and expecting faster service than ever directly to the comfort of their homes. The use of PDDs could also help reduce road congestion by relieving some of the need to ship products by truck.

Having clear policy in place for the use of such technology would put Missouri on the map for companies utilizing these innovative devices.

The House version of this legislation is House Bill 592, sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater (R-Holts Summit).

“The intent is to ensure that those robots can function in our communities safely,” said Fitzwater.

Ross Lien, Missouri Chamber director of legislative affairs, testified in support at the bills’ committee hearings on Feb. 9.

He said Missouri has the chance to be one of the frontrunners on this issue — if lawmakers act quickly.

“Fifteen states have already passed legislation similar to this supporting these types of devices,” said Lien.

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